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Kinga Głyk

Poland's Kinga Głyk (pronounced GWICK) is an award-winning bassist and composer. Though versatile, her musical focus weaves jazz, fusion, blues, R&B, and funk with an emphasis on groove. She began her professional career at age 12 with the Głyk P.I.K Trio, led by her vibraphonist/drummer father Irek Głyk. They toured Europe when Kinga was on break from school. Her independent debut, Rejestracja, appeared in 2015. The Polish music industry voted her Jazz Bassist of the Year and Discovery of the Year. The live Happy Birthday appeared in 2016. Głyk signed to Warner Music for 2017's Dream, leading a band that included saxophonist Tim Garland, pianist/keyboardist Nitai Hershkovits, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson. For 2019's Feelings, she showcased a rhythm trio buoyed by guest keyboardists. 2024's internationally celebrated Real Life was co-produced with Snarky Puppy's Michael League. Kinga Głyk was born in Poland in 1997. Her hometown, Rydułtowy, is in the southwestern Silesian Highland on the Rybnik Plateau, and lies in the Oświęcim-Racibórz Valley, a coal mining region. Her father, Irek, is a well-known European jazz drummer and vibraphonist. He played his daughter a slew of fusion, jazz, and funk records growing up. Encouraged by her dad, she began playing bass at age 11, and later that year took an accelerated course in ensemble play when she was recruited for family touring band, Głyk P.I.K Trio, that included her brother Patryk on drums. Głyk was an early standout. Her playing style from the very beginning was at once physical and lyrical. Her earliest influences were Stanley Clarke, Jaco Pastorius, and Marcus Miller. She appeared on the Głyk P.I.K Trio's 2013 Released at Last, and Kolędy Narodów with guitarist Mate.O (Mateusz Otremba) the following year. Working with her own trio that included her father and keyboardist Joachim Mencel, Głyk released Rejestracja (Registration), her independently issued debut in 2015. It got heavy airplay at Poland's state-run radio station Trójka, and was celebrated in the country's jazz press. She won industry awards for Bass Player of the Year and Discovery of the Year. Głyk and her trio worked the road in Poland, Germany, and northern Europe. The following year, she released the live Happy Birthday. Containing seven tracks, it featured three of her compositions and one by her father. In addition, the set's centerpieces included a Pastorius homage employing his arrangement of cover Charlie Parker's "Donna Lee" and Felix Mendelssohn's Spinnerlied. Further, a video of her performing Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven" was posted to Facebook and received more than 20 million views. At the end of 2016, Głyk signed a multi-album deal with Warner Music in Europe. 2017's Dream was recorded at Monochrom Studio in Gniewoszowo, Poland. A larger budget afforded by signing with a major allowed Głyk the luxury of choosing musicians from outside Poland. Her studio band consisted of Israeli pianist Nitai Hershkovits, British saxophonist Tim Garland, and American drummer Gregory Hutchinson. Dream was recorded and mixed by brother Patryk. Głyk wrote seven of the set's nine tracks, but admitted in an interview that despite her themes, the tunes were improvised by the band in the studio. She included covers of "Tears in Heaven" and Pastorius' "Teen Town." It was popular in Poland, and hit the upper rungs of the jazz charts in Germany, where she was also nominated for the Echo Jazz Prize. Głyk toured Europe in 2018. In 2019, at age 21, she released Feelings, her fourth long-player. She composed seven songs and co-penned two more with pianist/producer Paweł Tomaszewski. The pair were supported by American drummer Calvin Rodgers and a host of keyboardists including Brett Williams. She also recorded three covers: Lennie Tristano's signature bebop tune "Lennie's Pennies," Welsh singer-songwriter Duffy's "Mercy," and bassist Victor Bailey's "Low Blow." The video for opener "Let's Play Some Funky Groove" got more than a million views during its first week of release. Tristano's composition was rendered in the contemporary jazz-funk vernacular. The set charted at European radio (particularly in Poland, Germany, and Switzerland) and charted at streaming internationally. Her tour was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, and she stayed close to home for most of the next two years. During that time, she wrote and cut demos. She corresponded with and later met Snarky Puppy's Michael League and they decided to work together. In 2023, she enlisted League as co-producer and guitarist for her fifth album. Drummer Robert Searight (Snarky Puppy, Kirk Franklin) rounded out the core trio with longtime keyboardist/collaborator Williams (Marcus Miller, Stevie Wonder, Jose James), Julian Pollack (Marcus Miller, David Sanborn, Joe Lovano), Nicholas Semrad (Lauryn Hill, Talib Kweli, Bootsy Collins), and Casey Benjamin (Robert Glasper Experiment, Stefon Harris) on aerophone. Głyk also hired keyboardists Caleb McCampbell and Julian Pollack. The album was recorded at League's studio in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain and mixed and engineered by Grammy-winner Nic Hard. The first single, "Fast Life," appeared in September and hit the contemporary jazz charts in Europe. A second single, "Who Cares," was released in November -- modeled on '70s-era funk, it did even better at streaming. Titled Real Life, Głyk's fifth album arrived in January 2024 and won notice from jazz magazines, websites, and newspapers across the globe, particularly in North America, where it charted at streaming.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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