Preview: Ladies' Jazz Festival, Poland

The Ladies' Jazz Festival returns to the Polish harbour city of Gdynia for its tenth edition, with Dianne Reeves, Christine Tobin and Candy Dulfer headlining concerts throughout July

The Ladies' Jazz Festival was established in 2005 in Gdynia, a city which was itself established less than 90 years ago. The festival claims to be "the only European festival devoted to female jazz artists" (although male backing musicians are also in attendance). In 2015 it will feature a total of nine concerts from international and Polish acts.

Festival spokesman Maciej Farski, asked why the event has an almost exclusively female focus, told JJ: "Because women gives a special root to this music, because we should worship women everytime in jazz too. Gdynia is a woman too and Poland is a woman too. Women are special - usually we think that are only beautiful voices but it isn’t only truth."

He added: "Women are the main subject in Ladies’ Jazz Festival but it doesn’t mean that on this stage are only women; they are soloists, they are leaders of their groups, and they are a characteristic, special accent in these bands; they are divas, and stars. Building, electrical, body guards, and many others are not women. In the audience usually they are a women and man in 50/50 relations."

Eight of the concerts take place 11 to 18 July: the final event, starring saxophonist Candy Dulfer, is planned for 31 July at Gdynia's Music Theatre.

The Music Theatre will also play host to two internationally-known vocalists. Christine Tobin (pictured) will perform on Sunday 12 July and Dianne Reeves will be appearing on Tuesday 14 July. The Mika Urbaniak Quartet, Kinga Pruś, Pullover, Brenda Boykin and Club Des Belugas, Singin' Birds and Łyczacza will also be appearing at various venues.

More information (in Polish only) about the concerts can be found on the festival website. The festival can be contacted via email at

Text and photo by Bruce Lindsay. Additional text by Mark Gilbert

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