Krzysztof Urbański Named 2013 ‘Saxophone Idol’
Posted 1/7/2014

Tenor saxophonist Krzysztof Urbański was named the winner of the 2013 Saxophone Idol competition on Dec. 18.

During the finals for the inaugural event—presented by Julius Keilwerth Saxophones and held at Chicago’s Jazz Showcase—Urbański competed with alto saxophonist Nicholas Biello of Prospect, Conn., and alto saxophonist Rajiv Halim of Chicago. Each of the three finalists performed one tune with the evening’s house rhythm section (The Xavier Breaker Coalition), then jammed together on Sonny Stitt’s “The Eternal Triangle.”

Tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts performed with the house band and served as one of the judges for the international competition, along with Francois Kloc of Buffet Group USA, Michael Skinner of Dansr Inc. and Ed Enright of DownBeat magazine. After being named this year’s Saxophone Idol, Urbański took the stage again and played three tunes with Watts to close out the evening.

As the first-prize winner, Urbański will receive a Keilwerth MKX tenor saxophone, a Vandoren mouthpiece and a year’s supply of Vandoren reeds, and a two-year subscription to DownBeat.

Urbański is a graduate of the Academy of Music in Wroclaw, Poland. In 2010, he released his debut album, Urbański. He and the other two Saxophone Idol finalists were selected from a large pool of entrants representing 12 different countries.


2013 Saxophone Idol finalists, from left: Nicholas Biello, Krzysztof Urbański and Rajiv Halim. Urbański was named the winner by a panel of judges that included saxophonist Ernie Watts.


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