The founder and first editor of the renowned Polish magazine Jazz Forum Jan Byrczek died on 10 November at the age of 83. Byrczek published the first issue of Jazz Forum in December 1965.
Initially a newsletter the publication was transformed into a regular periodical. Byrczek, also a secretary general of the European (later International) Jazz Federation of which Jazz Forum was an associated publication for many years, was the editor-in-chief of Jazz Forum until 1979.
Byrczek, a double bassist, studied at the Music High School in Kraków and performed with the Komeda trio at the first Jazz Jamboree festival in 1958.
In the 1960s he moved to Warsaw and became the president of the Federation of Polish Jazz Clubs, which was renamed the Polish Jazz Federation a year later. From that time, under his leadership, the swift development of this organisation began, since 1970 functioning under the name of the Polish Jazz Association.
In December 1965, Jan Byrczek published the first issue of Jazz Forum. Initially modest, the newsletter was transformed into a regular periodical. At one time Jazz Forum appeared not only in Polish but in German and in English. Byrczek was one of the initiators of the Federation and in 1972 he went to Vienna to direct its work as secretary-general and later moved to New York.
In the late-1980s he moved away from jazz and became a co-creator of the first American bank in Poland, AmerBank, and returning to Poland he lived for some years in Kraków.
When he turned 80 three years ago the Melomani [''Music Lovers''] Jazz Association honoured him for his lifetime achievement.
Read Paweł Brodowski's (Polish language) tribute in Jazz Forum.
Photo: Andrzej Bernat/Jazz Forum