Originally from Warsaw, Poland, Rafał Sarnecki is a jazz guitarist and composer currently living in New York. He started to gain recognition after his success at the "International Jazz Guitar Competition - Guitar City 2002" in Warsaw where he received the 1st award. When he moved to the U.S. in 2005 he was already recognized in Poland as one of the most creative and fresh sounding musicians of the younger generation. In 2005 he received a scholarship at the prestigious Jazz and Contemporary Music program at the New School University in Manhattan. In 2008 he finished his undergraduate degree from The New School with Academic Honors. In 2010 he received his MA degree from the Aaron Copland School of Music also in New York.
In the 7 years that he has spent living in the Big Apple he has shared the stage with many top names from the New York jazz scene including Gary Thomas, Ben Wendel, John Escreet, Jeb Patton. Rafał has performed in jazz clubs and festivals in many European countries, Israel and has toured the East and West coast of the US.
Rafał has recorded 2 CDs as a leader. The second album, The Madman Rambles Again, was released in 2011 by the Fresh Sound New Talent label. The list of artists who have recorded for this label includes such musicians as Brad Mehldau or Kurt Rosenwinkel. Dave Sumner from All About Jazz selected the album as among the 12 most interesting jazz releases of 2011 in the Editor's Choice section. Additionally, Hi-Fi magazine selected The Madman Rambles Again as among the best jazz albums of 2011. Rafal's debut album Song From a New Place (2008) was nominated for the Fryderyk 2009 Award, the Polish equivalent of a Grammy.
Currently Rafal performs his compositions with a variety of groups and a few different instrumentations. His New York Sextet includes Lucas Pino on tenor saxophone, Glenn Zaleski on piano, Dylan Shamat on bass and Colin Stranahan on drums and a singer Bogna Kicińska. The style of the pieces played by the group can be described as modern jazz with long through-composed forms, containing strong motivic development and irregular rhythmic patterns.