The trio’s repertoire includes nigunim, or religious songs meant to induce a state of religious ecstasy, freylakhs of a more dancelike nature, as well as pieces derived from Jewish liturgy. Unchanged in form, this material unlocks the whole broad spectrum of Hasidic music and culture. The impulse to pursue this area of interest was a discovery of a collection of Hasidic songs by Moshe Bieregowski (1892-1961) who, beginning in the 1920s, researched and wrote about Jewish music in Ukraine, Poland and Moldova. One of the results of his ethnomusicological research was a volume on the Hasidic tradition.
SHOFAR’s founder Raphael Rogiński was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany and began playing electric guitar at the age of 13. He received both jazz and classical musical training and supplemented his education with studies of musicology and ethnomusicology. Since his earliest creative pursuits his main focus has been on jazz-influenced improvisation and folk music. As a composer and performer, he feels a powerful connection to Jewish culture and strives to include it in his work with his two bands, SHOFAR and CUKUNFT. Rogiński has collaborated with many established musicians in Poland and abroad, including Noel Akchote, Frederic Blondy, Joe Giardullo, Axel Dorner, Thomas Lehn, Andrew Sharpley, John Edwards, John Tilbury, Brigit Ulher, Yale Strom, Macio Moretti, Patryk Zakrocki, Tomasz Gwinciński, Daniel Pigoński, Konstanty Usenko, Vadim O. Pavluk, Ryszard Latecki. He was a guest artist on such albums as Djazzpora, Sztetlach, Broniewski, and Meritum.
Mikołaj Trzaska is a saxophonist, bass clarinetist, composer, and one of the founders of the “yass” scene in Poland (yass being a combination of new wave, free jazz, modern rock, and poetry). He began his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in 1987 and at that time met Ryszard Tymon Tymanski, who invited him to play in the group MIŁOŚĆ (Love). Fascinated by the life and music of John Coltrane, he started learning the saxophone, beginning on alto, which is still his main instrument. MIŁOŚĆ absorbed him so completely that he left the Academy after two years of study. In 1993 he founded the group ŁOSKOT (Clatter). Trzaska has collaborated with Lester Bowie, Peter Broetzmann, Tomasz Stanko, John Tchikai, Noel Akchote, Joe Giardullo, Peter Ole Jorgensen, Clementine Gasser, Jan Luc Cappozzo, Adam Pierończyk, and Leszek Możdżer. He has recorded more than 30 albums, half of them his own self-composed projects. Considered one of the best Polish jazz musicians, he performs all over Europe. Since 2001 he and his wife Ola have been running an independent recording company, KILOGRAM RECORDS. More recently he has been composing theatre music, but concentrating on solo projects, recording and touring the world with an international roster of collaborators, mostly from Germany and Scandinavia.
Macio Moretti is a performer, composer, producer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. He started his musical career as bass guitarist with SLAGE IMAGE/KRÓLOWIE ŻYCIA; now he plays drums as a member of STARZY SINGERS and BAABA. His broad spectrum of musical interests covers such diverse areas as grind/punk, twisted country-and-western, improv, psychedelic and pseudojazz. He is a cofounder of the independent music labels LADO ABC and ZGNIŁE MIĘSO REKORDS. In 2010, Moretti received the “Passport” award from influential Polish news weekly, Polityka. He has a successful second career in graphic design, working for publications such as Przekrój – one of the country’s oldest and most respected magazines.
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