ANTYKWARIAT – European Progressive Jazz Group

Antykwariat Jazz Group…

…was founded by Slawomir Bielawiec and Jan Zienko in 1776 and prospered in Poland until 1980. Originally a quartet, then quintet, sextet, and finally a septet, it specialized in music encompassing mainstream jazz. The early Antykwariat is most aptly described by music critic Jacek Grun: “No jazz group is capable of entering the spotlight of the jazz world through the backdoor in order to showcase its grand musicality and talent. Perfectly sensitive jazz is able to utilize this gift on stage, especially within jazz clubs. Music enthusiasts loved them immediately”.

Antykwariat reformed in Chicago in 2006, now performing both original compositions and well-known jazz standards. Antykwariat Jazz Group characterizes a style of music where old and new European romantic and American jazz music meet. The band’s superb musicality is a factor of extensive experience, great workshop, and a deep immersion in musical culture- all of which allow for an incomparable, creative touch in music composition. A lifetime of musical experience and passion are conveyed through each member’s artistic emotion, allowing the group to remarkably perform in many jazz varieties and actualize a spectrum of stylistic thoughts. Antykwariat produces music that is truly unique and constantly seeking new sources of inspiration.


In 2014 the band released their album “Black Pen”. It was very well received by critics and audiences in the USA and Poland. Songs from the album are constantly being broadcast in American and Polish radio stations.

In 2016 the band prepared new material based on songs by Kurylewicz, Wars, Petersburski, Kaszycki, Szpilman in arrangements by Sławomir Bielawiec. To participate in the project was invited Chicago jazz singer – Agnieszka Iwańska.


Howard Reich, a recognized jazz music critic, has expressed his admiration for the band in the Chicago Tribune. “Playing original scores and familiar repertoire, Antykwariat epitomizes the high lyricism of Polish and European music, as expressed through contemporary jazz vocabularies. [The group] has reaffirmed that substantive jazz improvisation and utterly accessible melody making are not mutually exclusive… Antykwariat has made something of a signature of, and the musicians’ slow-burn crescendos and complex but tautly controlled solos say a lot about the integrity of their work. This is a band that doesn’t need to shout its achievements; it trusts listeners to recognize the subtleties of its music”.

Wojciech Siwak, PhD, Institute of Cultural Studies, University of Warsaw, Poland:

In global world, every moment we can participate in some unusual meetings. East meet West, America meets Europe, and so on. Here you can see brilliant musical meeting of European jazz tradition with Chicago American groove. Antykwariat Jazz Group invites you to a journey across European lyricism, Slavic nostalgia, through American mainstream jazz, to funk, latin, and rock. It is not only music, there are colors, coming out from each song. Musical shapes are  incrustated by Rachmaninoff and Chopin influences in Slawomir Bielawiec piano playing, fat and round timbre of Jan Zienko guitar, ear-stroked sax of Rob Denty, and  solid groove of rhythm section – Krzysztof Pabian (bass) and Jarek Lukomski – drums.


Antykwariat Jazz Quintet:

Sławomir Bielawiec- piano

Jan Zienko- guitar

Rob Denty – sax

Krzysztof Pabian – bass

Jarek Łukomski – drums



Slawomir Bielawiec
Slawomir Bielawiec is continuously admired by music critics and enthusiasts as a jazz musician, pianist, composer, arranger, music producer and band leader. Apart from having composed music for theatre, radio, jazz bands, pop artists and instrumental ensembles, he has performed in numerous venues around Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, and the U.S. Also a journalist, producer and radio host, he has been a head radio personality for his morning show, Radio Chicago on WPNA 1490 AM, since 1991. The root of Slawomir Bielawiec’s expressive jazz piano style stems from an extensive knowledge in instrumental technique and music theory, complemented by decades of experience and a Master’s in Music from Warsaw Music University. His eloquent style of play can be traced to a wide range of influences ranging from Chopin’s romanticism and Rachmaninov’s harmonic insight to popular music, mainstream and modern jazz. The result is a genre of avant-garde jazz full of passion and enchanting musicality.
Jan Zienko

Co-founder of Antykwariat, jazz musician, session musician, composer and producer Jan Zienko has made a great impact as an accomplished guitarist and driven educator. Following a degree in music and a wealth of professional playing experience, Jan Zienko used his unique musical perspective to establish the Guitar Academy of Chicago and is also currently the owner of Jan Zienko Private Studio Recording in Chicago. He has composed pieces for many theatre productions and films including Babe, Winnie the Pooh, Polish Bethlehem and the Fourth Partition which has received awards in festivals in Los Angeles and Chicago. He has been privileged to share the stage with many great artists in Europe and the U.S. Whether he is playing jazz, jazz rock, ballads or blues, he is recognized as a musically sophisticated guitarist who plays with grace and dignity.


Rob Denty
One of the most remarkable saxophonists in the Chicago jazz scene, Rob Denty completed a Bachelor’s in Music at the University of North Florida and a Master’s of Music at Depaul University Chicago. He has performed with countless musical greats such as Ramsey Lewis, Johnny Griffin, Aretha Frankling, Joe Lovano, Doc Severinsen, Randy Brecker, Branford Marsalis, Lonnie Brooks, Lynne Arriale, and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble. One can hear a variety of musical style influences in his playing, including traditional jazz, free jazz, classical and popular music. Full of graceful solos, airy flights, and an outstanding feel for musical phrases and melodic growth, Rob Denty’s performance ability is one of a kind.

Jarek Lukomski

Jarek Lukomski is a universal and all-inclusive percussionist. He has performed with an innumerable amount of American and European stars: John Moulder, Rich Moore,  Maggie Brown, Ester Hana, Pound Of Flesh, Jazzmatess, Little Egoist, Krzysztof Scieranski, , Jaroslaw Smietana, Laboratorium.  His drumming can be best described as one that embodies many different styles from New Orleans music, swing, bebop, pop. Applied with his powerful rock drumming sensitivity, he is able to push the boundaries of all styles to new heights. His musical focus is committed to the exploration of improvised music incorporating styles as diverse as Blues, Jazz, R&B, Funk, Rock, and even Hard Rock.


Krzysztof Pabian

Krzysztof Pabian hails from his native Poland as a classically-trained bassist. While studying at Roosevelt University and later at renewed Northwestern University, where he graduated with two Masters degrees in classical and jazz music, he participated in several major music festivals such as Spoleto USA and Spoleto Italy, where he performed and recorded for various musical groups and settings with artists such as Jon Weber, Eddie Henderson, Hamid Drake, Mars Williams, Jeb Bishop, KT Sullivan, Mark Walker, Grazyna Auguscik, John McLean, John Phillips, John Moulder, Ernie Adams, Howard Levy, Rusty Jones, Jarek Smietana, Adam Czerwinski and Tim Mulvenna among others. He was also a member of groups such as Wood to Water, A Cor Do Brasil, Dan Phillips Trio, 2Day and The Given. He also performs with his own jazz group Krzysztof Pabian Acoustic TRIO which combine multi-cultural influences merging european lyricism, Brazilian rhythms and all-American improvisational techniques.



Antykwariat Jazz Quintet. 

Zespół został powołany do życia przez Slawomira Bielawca  i Jana Zienko  w roku 1976 roku i działał w Polsce do 1980 roku. Początkowo jako kwartet, potem kwintet, sekstet i wreszcie jako septet, specjalizował się w muzyce oscylującej wokół konwencji mainstreamowej jazzu.  Pracując pod auspicjami PSJ oraz Pagart koncertował w Polsce i za granicą.  O ówczesnym Antykwariacie najbardziej trafnie napisal krytyk muzyczny Jacek Grun: „żaden zespół jazzowy nie potrafił wejsc do swiata jazzu tylnymi dzrzwiami, aby pokazać swą wielką muzykalność i talent. Doskonale czujący jazz , umieją wykorzystac ten dar na scenie – szczególnie klubowej.  Melomani pokochali ich od razu”.

Po latach Antykwariat zostal reaktywowany w Chicago w 2006. Od tego czasu nieprzerwanie pracuje, doskonaląc swoje środki przekazu muzycznego. To jedyna formacja składająca się w większości z muzyków polskich działająca tak długo i skutecznie na amerykańskim rynku jazzowym. W skład zespołu wchodzą renomowani, doświadczeni muzycy polscy i amerykańscy: Slawomir Bielawiec – fortepian (kompozytor, araner, producent, Jan Zieńko – gitara, Rob Denty – saksofony sopranowy i tenorowy ( współpracował z takimi gwiazdami jak: Ramsey Lewis, Johnny Griffin, Aretha Franklin, Joe Lovano, Randy Brecker, Branford Marsalis, Billy Taylor and Mary Wilson ), Art Devis – trąbka i flugehorn ( znany ze współpracy z Ray Charlesem, Frankiem Sinatrą, Rosemary Clooney, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Joe Williamsem, Dizzy Gillespiem, Clarkiem Terry, Maynard Fergusonem, the Woody Herman Orchestra, Natalie Cole, Tonym Bennettem), Krzysztof Pabian – kontrabas, Jarek Łukomski – perkusja.

Muzyka zespołu określana jako „progressive jazz” przypadła do serc chicagowskiej publiczności.  Koncerty  grupy należą zawsze do szalenie udanych, są wspaniałym przeżyciem dla widowni, okazją do wspólnej zabawy i dowodem, że sztuka na najwyższym poziomie nie potrzebuje reklamy i zawsze znajdzie swego odbiorcę.

W 2014 roku zespół wydał płytę noszącą nazwę „Black Pen”. Znalazły się na niej w większości własne kompozycje autorstwa Sławomira Bielawca oraz Jana Zieńko. Utwory te, to stylistyczny splot wielu konwencji jazzowych.  Od pięknych lirycznych po rytm&bluesowe i latynoskie rytmy.

Muzyka grupy to kolory, wydobywające się z każdego utworu. Posłuchajcie jej zamykając oczy. Fortepianowe inkrustacje Sławomira Bielawca, nawiązujące do Rachmaninowa, Chopina, Jarreta, Mc Coy Taynera,  okrągła i mocna barwa gitary Jana Zieńko, łaskoczące ucho saksofonowe frazy Roba Denty, elegancja i precyzja trąbki Arta Davisa, a to wszystko na solidnym, mocnym fundamencie, jakim jest groove sekcji rytmicznej – basisty Krzysztofa Pabiana oraz Jarka Łukomskiego na perkusji.


Polski jazz pojawiał się w USA, na dłużej lub krócej dzięki Krzysztofowi Komedzie, Tomaszowi Stańko, Zbigniewowi Namysłowskiemu, Michałowi Urbaniakowi i Urszuli Dudziak, a ostatnio Marcinowi Wasilewskiemu czy Leszkowi Możdzerowi. Pojawiał się i znikał. Teraz nie musi się już pojawiać. On tam jest. Na stałe. I to w znakomitym, polsko-amerykańskim projekcie. Jeśli jesteś gotowy do oddania się malowniczości tej muzyki i szukasz ukojenia dla swego ucha.”



W 2016 roku zespół przygotował nowy materiał oparty na utworach Kurylewicza, Warsa, Petersburskiego, Kaszyckiego, Szpilmana w aranżacji Sławomira Bielawca. Do udziału w projekcie zaproszono doskonałą jazzową wokalistkę chicagowską Agnieszkę Iwańską.