Janek's beginnings in music started at age 11 with classical guitar lessons at the Merton Music Foundation from the Late Peter Woodings, as well as study in classical music through brass ensembles and orchestral percussion, drum set lessons with now Buzzcocks drummer Danny Farrant, and participation in just about every style and genre of ensemble that was offered by the MMF. Through these early years Janek's main interest was in drums, and it was the lure of one of his favorite drummers (Ian Thomas) that convinced him to attend a local jazz gig at the Gun Tavern in Croydon with a friend. The band leader - Laurence Cottle. The next day a bass was purchased and Janek followed Laurence around London and the UK learning everything he could. A job at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London as assistant sound engineer led to meeting Brazilian Jazz super stars Airto Moreira and Flora Purim. After an invitation to sit in with them in London in 1998, it was on Flora's advice that Janek move to the US and attend Berklee College of Music.
While studying at Berklee Janek joined the band of Kenwood Dennard and was afforded the opportunity to work with musicians like Pete Levin, and Hiram Bullock. Before leaving Berklee and Boston, Janek would meet several people that would become lifelong musical collaborators including Bob Reynolds, Tim Miller, and Hal Crook.
After just three semesters at Berklee Janek made the move to New York City to pursue his career. Working day and night on his playing, and managing to land several high profile gigs, the next 8 years would include tours, record dates, production, Musical Direction and performances with Jive Jones, Adam Freeland, Mike Philips, Jem, Delta Goodrem, Wayman Tisdale, Wayne Krantz, Mike Stern, Randy Brecker, Paul Shafer, VV Brown, Pat Metheny, Ronny Jordan, Marcus Miller, Dapp Theory, James Valentine, Jojo Mayer, Jeff Lorber, and many more.
Recordings as a leader
Mystery to Me, released in 2004, was recorded at Manhattan Center Studios in front of a live audience in one take. It features Mark Turner, Jojo Mayer, Elliot Mason, Tim Miller, Gretchen Parlato, Gregoire Maret, and John Ellis.
The Space In Between, Janek's third album as a leader, was released on October 26, 2010. The album features Jojo Mayer, Tim Miller, Mike Stern, James Valentine of Maroon 5, Airto Moreira, Bob Reynolds, Doug Wamble and Audun Waage.
As a Leader
- Mystery to Me - Live in New York - 2004
- Live at the 55bar - 2008
- The Space In Between - 2010
- It Only Happens Once - 2012
- Theatre By The Sea - 2013
As a Sideman
- Jose Neto - 7th Wave
- Ronny Jordan - At last
- Adam Freeland - Now And Them
- Mike Philips - Uncommon Denominator
- Bob Reynolds - Can't Wait for Perfect
- Bob Reynolds - A live Life
- Marcus Miller - Free
- Justin Vasquez - Tryptich
- All About Jazz. "Jazz article: "Janek Gwizdala: Mystery to Me-Live in New York" by Phil DiPietro". Allaboutjazz.com. Retrieved 2012-06-16.
- All About Jazz (2008-03-14). "Janek Gwizdala: "Live at the 55 Bar 2007", jazz review by Phil DiPietro". Allaboutjazz.com. Retrieved 2012-06-16.
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