Grazyna Auguscik

Singer, composer, arranger, and producer Grazyna Auguscik has won the praise and admiration of music critics, jazz enthusiasts and even non-jazz audiences with a singular voice that speaks a universal language. She is one of the most intriguing contemporary vocalists on today’s world jazz scene. Her elusive style challenges traditional definitions of jazz and shows a vocalist and musician without boundaries. Her unorthodox approach to rewriting classic works pays tribute to their authors and at the same time is an adventure into uncharted territory. Her original music gives a fresh taste of uncanny flavor.

She began her professional music career in Europe, and then completed her studies at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1992. Since then she has become a prolific collaborator, sharing the stage with such jazz notables as Michael and Randy Brecker, Jim Hall, John Medeski, Paul Wertico, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Robert Irving III, Michal Urbaniak, Urszula Dudziak, Terry Callier, Patricia Barber, John McLean, Ron Perrillo, and many others. Grazyna has recorded, produced and distributed 17 albums, 10 of which were under her own record label, GMA Records, and has appeared as a guest on as many projects.

Her album Pastels was chosen one of the best of 1998 by National Public Radio listeners. Her 2002 release River placed her as one of the hottest young jazz talents in the country. In 2003 Grazyna received a Twirlie Nomination for Top Female Vocalist and was nominated for Best Female Vocalist of 2002 at the 22nd Annual Chicago Music Awards. She was named Best Jazz Vocalist of 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2006 by the prestigious European Jazz Forum Magazine. In 2002 Fujitsu Concord Jazz Festival named her Top Vocalist, and her album Homage – Three for Brazil, recorded for Pony Canyon Records in Japan, was one of the Top 20 Jazz Albums in Asia.

Her 2003 release Past Forward, featuring the remarkably talented accordion player Jarek Bester, once again resists easy classification because of its musical eclecticism, but embraces jazz in all its contemporary potential, in the pulsating, exhilarating, eastern musical origins that lead to the past and at the same time give an uncanny impression of wholeness.

“Auguscik may be on the brink of innovation,” says a Chicago Tribune review.

The LA Times says “Grazyna Auguscik is doing important work in advancing the potential for imaginative jazz singing. She is a singer to be watched.”

The Grazyna Auguscik Orkestar Universale Project, presented at Millennium Park in Chicago in 2006, received a standing ovation, reaffirming that music can communicate across boundaries of language. Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune said about her performance, “Auguscik and her ensemble sound like nothing else you ever heard; they are out of this world. This must-see performer is one of the best voices to be heard today.”  The album Andanca received great acclaim at DownBeat Magazine radio stations around the country and abroad. Her concert Chopin World Sound at Millennium Park in Chicago in, 2010, with 14 musicians on stage, gathered over 10,000 people in the audience and was chosen one of the 10 most important performances during last three decades in Chicago area, next to Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, the Wynton Marsalis Septet, Frank Sinatra, Marcus Roberts, the Tropicana Orchestra, Danilo Perez, Oscar Brown Jr., and Igor Butman.

In 2011 she received the Outstanding Pole Aboard award from the Teraz Polska foundation, and the annual award of the Polish Ministry of Culture.

In the meantime her collaboration as an assistant producer for Patricia Barber’s two Blue Note recording projects brings her more worldwide acclaim. Most recently her new album “Personal Selection” has been released in Europe, and another, “The Beatles Nova,” is being played by jazz radio stations all over the U.S.

Her work is met by constant enthusiastic reviews. “Man Behind The Sun – Songs of Nick Drake,”  her latest release from 2012/13, is no exception, with eager acceptance by music critics and her fans alike.

“She’s a music machine.” – C. Loudon, Jazz Times

“… stunning use of her lithe, mobile voice … she is doing important work in advancing the potential for imaginative jazz singing… result is a singer to be watched.” – Don Heckman, LA Times

“Grazyna Auguscik is emerging as an individual voice in a world of sound-alike singers … Auguscik approaches the art of jazz singing with fervor and intensity. She treats even the most well-worn fare with a spirit of adventure.” –

Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

“Her name is Grazyna Auguscik and she is one of the hottest jazz talents in the country.” – American Jazz Scene

“Jazz Innovator Singer Grazyna Auguscik a fresh voice on a jazz scene … powerful statements.” – Mark Guarino, Daily Herald

“One of Chicago’s hidden treasures, singer Grazyna Auguscik is a jazz-rooted, genre-blurring provocateur.” – Michael Wojcik, Illinois Entertainment

“… she conjures otherworldly images of Yma Sumac sweating to an Esquivel beat.” – C. Loudon, Jazz Times

Discography

Solo albums

2014 Inspired by Lutoslawski , ForTune Record
2012/2103 Man behind the sun – Songs of Nick Drake, GMA Records/EMI
2011 Personal Collection, MTJ Records
2011 The Beatles Nova, MTJ Records
2008 Andanca, GMA Records
2007 Sounds Live Sounds, GMA Records
2005 Lulajze – The Lullaby for Jesus, GMA Records
2005 The Light, GMA Records
2003 Past Forward, GMA Records / Jazz Institute of Chicago Sound Archive and Recordings
2002 Homage -Three for Brazil, Pony Canyon Records (Japan)
2001 River, GMA Records
2001 Don’t Let Me Go, GMA Records (Remastered Release + BT featuring Michal Urbaniak)
2000 Fragile, GMA Records
2000 To i Hola, Selles Records
1998 Pastels, GMA Records
1997 Koledy, Voice Magic Records
1996 Don’t Let Me Go, GMA Records
1989 Sunrise Sunset, Polskie Nagrania

Featuring as a guest (selected projects)

2011 Muzyka Polska – Andrzej Jagodzinski Trio
2010 My very life – Paulinho Garcia
2010 Kobiety i Jazz, Trio Inspiracje, GRAMI Records
2010 Komeda-Inspiration – Jan Bokszczanin, ARMS Records
2009 Krzysztof Komeda, Agora
2008 Matt Ulery’s Loom, Music Box Ballerina
2007 John McLean Better Angels – Origin
2005 John McLean – Welcome Everything Guitar Madness, JohnMcLeanMusic
2005 Cracow Klezmer Band -Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass – Tzadik
2003 Cracow Klezmer Band –Bereshit – Tzadik
2003 Batizado Scottinho – Scott Anderson
2003 Widow’s First Dawn Rope – Family Vineyard
2000 Gephart Long Quartet – Corners Gephart, Long Records
2000 The City of Strangers, Sepia Records
2000 The Surrender, Sepia Records
1999 Primordial Passage – vinyl, Peacefrog Records, London
1999 Primordial Passage – CD, Peacefrog Records, London
1999 The Sacred Spaces Epî, Underground Evolution Records
1998 Fernando Huergo Living these Times, Browstone Records
1998 Women Who Swing Chicago, Big Chicago Records