Music has been always an important part of Kris’ life. He started playing piano at the age of 14 and studied at the School of Music in Jelenia Gora, Poland, where he also learned the trombone. It was the latter that provided him with an opportunity to join the wedding band ‘Mr Hyde’; this liaison was brief, however, and he soon switched to the guitar.
Following a move to the UK in 2006, he played in several different acoustic projects, trying his hand at styles from rock and blues to bluegrass and folk. In 2014, he came across the music of Django Reinhardt and, following a chance meeting with Michal Tereszkiewicz, laid the foundations for MJQ.
Mark’s interpretation of the double bass’ role in gypsy music underpins MJQ’s distinct style, providing a more lyrical and harmonic counterpart to the lines of the lead instruments. Relatively new to gypsy jazz, he has been playing the string bass since 1980 and enjoyed early recognition with the German rock band Tidal Wave.
In more recent years, his focus has been on the blues scene in London, and it was during this period that he produced a double album of blues classics: Paying Penance – For the Good Times. A collaborative effort, it involved 23 musicians drawn from the London Blues scene playing as The Midnight Blues Project. In 2011 he organized a hugely successful series of fundraising concerts under the banner Blues for Heroes. He plays regularly in South Devon and continues to study the double bass.
Michal was born in Targoszyn, Poland and started playing the guitar aged 18. He misspent his youth playing ACDC and Lady Punk covers, later being drawn to the styles of Joe Satriani and Steve Vai and evolving a more melodic and intricate sound. His gypsy jazz career began with the Polish band ‘Swing Cocktail’, playing in hotels and pubs.
Following his move to the UK, his interest in the technical genius of Django Reinhardt made him look for new opportunities; meeting MJQ’s other guitarist, Krzysztof Adamczak, was the starting point.
Classically trained, Martin was introduced to gypsy jazz by a French man living in a basement in Hackney. As a teenager he toured Europe with the London Schools Symphony orchestra, performing at the Albert Hall and the Barbican and leading the orchestra in his final two seasons.
Playing jazz largely by ear, he brings the incisive tone of the classical style to his gypsy licks to further enhance the band's sophisticated lines and melodic harmonies