Musical Artist, Producer, Music Director, Arranger, Composer
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Marek Podstawek refers to himself as a percussionist and performer. But that simple label belies his mastery of a more diverse range of instruments and the sheer creativity of his performances. Marek is indeed a percussionist (vibraphone and marimba) but he is also a drummer, keyboardist, composer, author, arranger and teacher. As a performer, Marek has a well-earned reputation for his visual antics and his ability to garner audience participation. Marek is a classic example of a musician who has not only devoted his entire career to mastering his instruments, but also exhibits a passion for sharing his sense of musical adventure.
A native of Poland, Marek graduated from the Polish Conservatory in Wroclaw with a Bachelor of Music in Classical Percussion and soon began his professional career with the National Dance Music Association of Poland, playing and performing in various jazz and dance clubs around the country. Building a strong reputation as both a versatile and charismatic performer, it was not long before he began touring internationally for the next ten years, playing National and International Jazz Festivals in Germany, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Hungary and Yugoslavia. Following his foundation years in Europe, Marek spent two years in the United States and began a full time gig that many can only dream of, spending 1992-1993 with Renaissance Cruise Lines, drumming with the ship band as he cruised the Caribbean Islands.
With experience in two continents under his belt, Marek relocated to Australia in the mid 1990s – and decided to make the great south land his permanent home. Settling in Melbourne, Marek soon developed a solid experience base, performing with some of Australia’s premier jazz and blues artists, being the drummer of choice for such acts as Tony Gould, Alex Pertout, Brian Brown, Shelly Scown, Peter Jones, Dutch Tildres as well as MBAS Performer of the Year Annie-Marie Sharry and the Hiphuggers. He has also been invited to play at such events Monsalvat Jazz Festival, The Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival, Hall’s Gap, Inverloch Jazz Festival, Merimbula Jazz Festival, The Big Blues Day Out and many more.
Marek’s passion for learning has never abated. Shortly after settling in Melbourne, Marek enrolled in the prestigious, Victorian College of Arts were he gained a Bachelor of Music Performance (Improvisation). These studies cemented his long-standing interest in composition and arranging – both for solo instruments as well as for larger ensembles- an activity that now consumes much of his spare time.
Marek’s band, Arachnids, is a multi-guise format that can include Marek performing as a solo artist or in an ensemble, is dedicated to performing his material around various venues in Melbourne. Audiences are constantly astounded by his energy, dynamism and creativity. He is strongly committed to the notion of a musician as a performer and constantly searches for innovative ways to generate audience participation and allow audience members to share his own sense of musical wonder. One of his signature visual antics is to leave the drum kit behind, mingle with the audience, while maintaining constant rhythm, using any available surface as potential percussion instrument. Marek sees himself as a sculptor of sound; he uses percussion in the same way that a painter uses a brush to create something new and exciting.
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Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."
Mr. Smith’s biggest hit, “Walk Don’t Run,” became famous in covers by other bands, notably the Ventures. Mr. Smith, the writer of “Walk, Don’t Run,” gave up his career in 1958 to care for his daughter.