Biography

p {text-align: justify;}Michal Tokaj b. 24.02.1974 in Warsaw where he completed his primary and secondary education at the Karol Szymanowski Public Music School (1993). A graduate of the Katowice Academy of Music’s Jazz and Popular Music (1998).

He made his debut on the Jazz stage s a member of legendary drummer Kazimierz Jonkisz’s quartet in 1993. As a member of the group “Joint Venture” he was a co-recipient of 1st place honors at the Jazz Juniors ’95 Festival in Kraków, the Jazz Standards Festival ’96 in Siedlce and the award for most promising young group at the Europ’ Jazz Contest in Hoelaart, Belgium in 1996. The following year saw him garnering top honors at Jazz Juniors ’97 with saxophonist and flautist Marcin Zupanski quartet.

In 1999 Michal Tokaj won 1st Prize at the International Jazz Improvisation Competition in Katowice and has participated in numerous other international festivals among them: Jazz Goes To Town, Jazz Fest Brno, Jazz Jamboree, Poznan Jazz Fair, Jazz On The Odra, Sopot Molo Jazz Festival, the Kalisz Jazz Pianists Festival, Jazz On The Old Town.

The pianist has performed in the USA, Israel, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine and Lithuania. He was worked and sour recorded with Jan Ptaszyn Wroblewski, Janusz Muniak, Tomasz Szukalski, Ewa Bem, Henryk Miśkiewicz, Piotr Wojtasik, Piotr Baron, Darek Oles, Grzegorz Nagroski, Leszek Żadło, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Eddie Henderson, Victor Lewis and Monty Waters.

Since 2001 Michal Tokaj has been a teacher and instructor with the Fryderyk Chopin Association of Music Schools in Warsaw.

The year 2002 saw the pianist receiving a nomination for a Fryderyk Award (the Polish equivalent of GrammyTM) in the Jazz Musician of the Year category, while vocalist Agnieszka Skrzypek (Aga Zaryan) CD “My Lullaby” which he arranged and co-produced was nominated for the Jazz Record of the Year.

Michal Tokaj works on a steady basis with Czech bassist Jaromir Honzak’s quintet. The CD “Present Past” which they recorded together was named Best Jazz Album of the Year in 2003 by the Czech magazine Harmonie as well as receiving an Angel award – the Czech equivalent of the GrammyTM.

In September of 2004 the pianist’s own CD “Bird Alone” a trio effort recorded with bassist Darek Oles and drummer Łukasz Żyta, was released on the Japanese label Gats Production.

Bird Alone took Fryderyk as the Best Jazz Album of the Year 2004 in Poland and became ?gold?.

The last few years has resulted in projects such as: Grzegorz Karnas?? Dreams? or ?Ballads at the end of the world?, ?Question To All Your Answers? with Jaromir Honzakiem (another Andel for the best jazz album in the Czech Republic) and”The Beauty is Dying “- Aga Zaryan album dedicated to the 63rd anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, where you can hear the piano compositions written to the texts of Polish poets of the period World War II. The album won the Fryderyk 2008 in the category Album of the Year – Music poetic.

CD “Looking Walking Being” created in collaboration with Aga Zaryan released in March 2010 under the name American label Blue Note after a month went platinum, and Tokaj received the award for the Best Improvisation of the Year and also Fryderyk for Jazz Composer of The Year.

April 2008 took an important event. Michal Tokaj Trio recorded with American legendary saxophonist and clarinetist Bennie Maupin album “Early Reflections”. Promotional concerts were organized with the participation of a pianist in Los Angeles and in New York in April 2008.

Best Jazz Improvisation in 2010. I create “Seeking My Love” and Frederick in the category Jazz Composer of the Year.

And after 10 years, in 2014, Michal Tokaj find some time and released with Łukasz Żyta and bassist Michal Baranski. Now they has the second album called The Sign for Slovak label Hevhetia.