How did you get to know the Schagerl company?
I have been aware of Schagerl trumpets for ever but I haven’t had the opportunity to own one until recently. In 2018, I took part in a symphonic project as composer and soloist. I sat next to a trumpeter who, I discovered, played the Schagerl Ganschhorn Gold Brass, size medium. I asked to try it and got hooked. It wasn’t until 2020 that, thanks to the great classical trumpeter Bartosz Gaudyn who represents Schagerl in Poland, I was able to travel to the factory in Monk, Austria, and test the best of the many models they had. I travelled expecting to choose the Spider: it sounds great and also looks awesome. But after testing various models I picked the Ganschhorn in Large. It’s a fantastic instrument with lots of tricks up its sleeve I’m excited about, and it looks the part, too. I’m glad and grateful that Bartosz travelled with me to Austria and enabled me to test all these trumpets.
Which instruments do you play?
I play the Schagerl Ganschhorn, but am thinking about the James Morrison, and for travelling, about Schagerl’s pocket trumpet
Who influenced you in your career?
My style has had many influences. As a teenager I was naturally drawn to Miles Davis, but also Armstrong, Lee Morgan, Dizzy Gillespie. Then, Wynton Marsalis was my model for a while and after that the great Poles – Tomasz Stańko, Piotr Wojtasik – inspired me. Next came Roy Hargrove, Nicholas Payton and recently, Ambrose Akinmusire. I would say that I owe the greatest debt to Miles, Stańko and Akinmusire.
A short description of your career:
I was born to a family with musical traditions. My mother’s a choral conductor by education; she has always been a great interpreter of classical piano at home, and a great sight reader. After raising the kids, she became a music educator and a school concert organiser on behalf of the Silesian and the Opole Philharmonics. My dad is a well-known jazz historian, author of a three-volume history of jazz which, since the late nineties, has been the textbook of choice at many jazz departments in Poland. He was a pianist and swing band leader in the 1940s, and afterwards became a leading Polish jazz and music educator, host of countless concerts and festivals, and jazz critic at various music publications. I was the only one of their three children to study music and I quickly started winning jazz competitions in Poland and Europe. After I won all that I could, I focused on my recording career
Currently, I’m not only a jazz trumpeter, but also a composer, band leader, music producer and publisher, lecturer at the Jazz Institutes of the University of Applied Sciences in Nysa and the Katowice Academy of Music, where in 2016 I’ve gained a doctoral degree in Music. In 2006 I won a scholarship to University of Louisville, Kentucky and early in my career (2006-2010) I won many individual awards and Grand Prix’s now being one of the most important jazz figures in Poland and middle Europe.
To date, I have produced and published twelve own albums, including three with Schmidt Electric. For the past eight years I have ranked among the best three jazz trumpeters in the annual Jazz Top poll of the Jazz Forum European magazine. One of my latest projects: Piotr Schmidt Quartet – Tribute to Tomasz Stańko is considered by Wolf Mueller (Sony Music Germany) as one of the 10 best albums from 2018 in the World!)
Among my many collaborators are: Walter Smith III, Matthew Stevens, Alex Hutchings, Ernesto Simpson, Ed Partyka, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski, Dante Luciani, Francesco Angiuli.
As publisher and producer, I have co-created SJRecords (www.sjrecords.eu) through which, from 2011, there have been published 52 albums well regarded by music fans and professionals, critics and music journalists