The winners of the 4th International Jarek Śmietana Jazz Guitar Competition in Kraków have been announced, writes Izzy Blankfield from Kraków:
First prize: Iver Cardas (Norway)
Second prize: Carl Morgan (Australia)
Third prize: Misha Mendelenko (Ukraine)
Special prize founded by Anna and Alicja Śmietana: Noah Myers (USA)
In addition, Mateus Saldanha (Portugal) has been invited by competition director Witold Wnuk to perform at the Kraków Jazz Festival next summer. Finalists Ofir Noy (Israel) and Mike de Souza (UK) were awarded special commendations. Semi-finalists Raphael Silverman (USA) and Mads Oldenskov (Denmark) received special mentions for their outstanding interpretations of works by Jarek Śmietana.
Cardas, Morgan and Mendelenko will perform tonight at a gala concert in memory of Jarek Śmietana at the Kraków Philharmonic alongside members of the competition jury and prominent Polish jazz musicians.
Izzy Blankfield’s more detailed coverage of the competition will follow.