Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Rek, Vitold (Witold Eugeniusz Szczurek)

Rek, Vitold [Witold Eugeniusz Szczurek], double bassist, composer, producer, educator; b. RzeszUw, Poland, 18 October 1955. His stage name has been Vitold Rek since 1987. He's been living in Germany since 1989. He teaches Jazz-Double Bass class at Musikhochschule Frankfurt/Main, Germany and at the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany. His father was Stanislaw (1920-1984) and his mother is Elisabeth (b.1925). His sister is Maria (b.1948) and his brother is Ignacy (b. 1950), who attended Cracow Academy of Music (1976-1982), and graduated classical double bass, tutor Prof Ryszard Daun. He went to the F.Chopin Music Conservatory in Cracow (1973-76) and graduated classical double bass, tutors Prof. Ryszard Daun andWitold Majewski. Vitold is married to Julie Cordell (b. 14.10.1964). His son is Tadeusz (b.22.9.1993) and his daughter is Sophia (b. 20.11.1997).

Rek comes from Poland, to be precise, from Rzeszow, a town half way between Cracow and Lvov, in the middle of the Carpathian foothills, in the middle of Galicia, a region with a rich cultural and also musical tradition. At the age of 20 he began his professional jazz career and was soon to be playing with the most significant Polish musicians, in an environment in which there were, at that time, plenty of creative individuals. He worked with Jan CPtaszyne Wroblewski, Vladislav  Sendecki, Slavomir Kulpowicz and Tomasz Stanko and at the same time studied classical double bass at the Music Academy in Cracow. During the political upheavals of the late eighties, Vitold Rek moved to West Germany and was here too a respected representative of his instrument. Colleagues such as Peter Giger, Emil and Albert Mangelsdorff, Karl Berger, Elvira Plenar, Ralf H'bner,  Christoph Lauer, Janusz M.Stefanski, Dave Liebman, Jasper vanit Hof, Cha rlie Mariano admire his full sound in which an almost melancholy consonance  and rhythmical striving forward fuse together in something nothing short of a jazz ideal. Vitold Rek is a jazz musician. Yet for all this, he has never forgotten his roots: neither the classical music, nor the Polish musical tradition, before which he in many of his projects pays his respect, not purely in reverence, rather creatively opens up to and plays with them. Since 2000, Vitold Rek has been teaching jazz double bass at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz and the Hochschule f'r Musik in Frankfurt.   

Basspace (1984); Basspace 555555 (1985); The Spark (1987); East West Wind (1997); Bassfiddle alla polacca (1999); The Polish Folk Explosion (2002); Vitold Rek / Charlie Mariano (to be released in 2003)
As co-leader:
John Tchicai/Vitold Rek: Satisfaction (1992); John Tchicai/Vitold Rek/Karl Berger: 2x2 (2001)
As sideperson:
Tomasz Stanko: Music 81 (1982), A i J (1982), C.O.C.X. (1983), Lady Go... (1984), Witkacy/Peyotl (1986), Freeelectronic-The Montreux Performance (1987); Slavomir Kulpowicz: Information (1982); Slavomir Kulpowicz/Czeslaw Niemen: Samarpan (1987); Stanislaw Soyka: Soyka Acoustic (1990); Peter Giger: Family Jewels (1992), Jazzz (1993), Mozambique meets Europe (1993); Christof Lauer/Ralf Huebner: Mondspinner (1996); Michael Baird: On Remote Patrol (1996); Fritz Hartschuh: Das Erik Satie Projekt (1998)

Radio and television broadcasts:
New Jazz Meeting ; SWR- Radio Baden-Baden, Germany, 1989 & 1993
25th German Jazz Festival, Frankfurt/Main Germany 1995, HR- TV& radio broadcast
TV documentary film Vitold Rek ; TV 2 Poland 1988
Jazz Jamboreei Jazz Festival ; TV Poland 1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987

Theatre music: 
Rdzai Teatr Stary, dir. Andrzej Dziuk,Cracow, Poland 1982
Glass Menagerie , dir. Jan Sycz, in:
Teatr Slaski, Katowice , Poland,1983,
DIA Teatret Norway 1995,
The Gorilla Theatre, Tampa , Fl, USA 2001

Film music:
The Pest TVP II, Poland 1995, directed by Magdalena Lazarkiweicz
Das Leben als Schatten nEmmanuel Bove 1898-1945i , ARTE/ZDF Germany 1998 directed by Bettina Augustin
Jazz i Folk TVP 3, Poland 2001, directed by Jerzy Dynia

Jazz Forum Magazine; Warsaw,Poland 1985 ( Interview)
Jazz Forum Magazine, Warsaw, Poland 3/1989 (profile/interview)
California Jazz Now, USA, 8/1993, (profile)
Jazz Podium, Germany, 7/8 1996 (profile)
Jazz Forum Magazine, Warsaw, Poland 3/1999 (profile )
Jazz Podium, Germany, 5/1999 (profile)
Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany, 5/1999 (profile)
Passauer Neue Presse, Germany, 10/1999 (interview)
Double Bassist, England, nr 19, Winter 2001, (profile + print of compositions)
Gazeta Wyborcza ,Cracow, Poland, 7/2002 (profile)
Magazyn Nowiny, Rzeszow, Poland, 4/2002, (profile)
JazzThing Magazine, Germany, 10/11/12 2002, (profile)
Jazzthetik, Germany, 12/2002, (profile/interview)
Leksykon Polskiej Muzyki Rozrywkowej, Morex 1995, Poland, editor Ryszard Wolanski
(main page 212 ,  + 12,111,202, 208, 253 )
Encyklopedia Muzyki Popularnej: Jazz, Atena 2000, Poland,editor Dionizy Piatkowski
Jazz-Lexikon, Rowohlt Verlag 2002, Germany, editor Martin Kunzler

Individual soloist prize on the competition Jazz on the Oder, Wroclaw 1975, Poland
Voted twice as a best jazz double bass player (1986 & 1988) "Jazz Top" poll  in Jazz Forum Magazine, Poland
Work scholarship from the city of  Frankfurt am Main, Germany 1999
Stipend from the Ministry of Cuture in Rheinland-Pfalz , Mainz, Germany 2001


Contact information:
tel. +49-6081-96 59 10

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