b. Jaroslaw Smietana, 29 March 1953, Kraców, Poland. Originally known by his birth name, Smietana studied jazz guitar formally while playing as a professional musician. By the mid-70s he was well known in his homeland as the leader of the popular jazz rock band Extra Ball. His reputation spread thanks to a succession of appearances at international festivals including some dates in the USA. In the middle of the following decade Smietana had shifted the balance towards jazz although he continued to use elements of rock in his performances. He was also now experimenting with larger ensembles for which he wrote most of the music. He continued to gain plaudits in his homeland, and to appear at festivals, such as the 1993 Poznan Jazz Fair. Smietana’s technique is remarkable and allows him to fully realize his forward thinking attitude towards his music.
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