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Adam Makowicz: A Tribute to Art Tatum

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Is there a movie lurking here? Consider this. In the mid-1950s Adam Makowicz was a classical pianist living in Poland. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, the young pianist hears an Art Tatum recording. It’s a moment of epiphany. “Angels’ music,” Makowicz exclaims excitedly. It’s also a moment fraught with danger. Indeed, Tatum’s music has been plucked from the ether in a broadcast emanating from the outlawed “Voice of America.” Compounding the intrigue is the fact that in Poland, jazz is forbidden. Nonetheless, the music’s freedom and Tatum’s inspired virtuosity impress the young Makowicz to the point that his life is forever changed.

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