Darek Oleszkiewicz

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Darek Oleszkiewicz
Also known as Darek Oles
Born (1963-02-20) February 20, 1963 (age 55)
Wrocław, Poland
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, composer, arranger, educator
Instruments Double bass
Years active 1980s–present
Labels Cryptogramophone

Darek Oleszkiewicz (born February 20, 1963), also known as Darek Oles, is a jazz bassist, composer, arranger, and educator.


Oleszkiewicz was born in Wrocław, Poland, on February 20, 1963.[1] He lived in Kraków in the early 1980s, then moved to Los Angeles in 1987.[2] He was a protégé of Charlie Haden.[3] In the early 1990s and 2000s he built a reputation on the West Coast of the United States.[4] He co-founded the Los Angeles Jazz Quartet in 1993, with saxophonist Chuck Manning, guitarist Larry Koonse, and drummer Kevin Tullius.[2] They recorded for Naxos Records and Not Two Records.[2]

Oleszkiewicz's first album as sole leader was Like a Dream,[5] which consisted largely of his own compositions.[4] It included quartet and trio tracks, and duets with pianist Brad Mehldau.[5] He had earlier played on Mehldau's Largo.[6] Oleszkiewicz was featured prominently with Koonse on the 2006 album Storybook.[7]

In 2010 Oleszkiewicz was a co-leader with Peter Erskine, Bob Mintzer, and Alan Pasqua on the album Standards 2: Movie Music.[8] Oleszkiewicz was co-leader with Adam Czerwniński for the album Raindance.[9]

Oleszkiewicz is a faculty member at California Institute of the Arts,[10] the University of Southern California,[1] and the University of California, Irvine.[citation needed] He continues to record, including on trombonist Bob McChesney's Chez Sez in 2015,[11] and with other USC faculty members, including on Kait Dunton's Mountain Suite in the same year.[12]

Playing style[edit]

On his debut as leader, Oleszkiewicz's style was described as containing "the inevitable lineage to Scott LaFaro and Bill Evans, [...and] combines a certain economy of style that is reminiscent of Charlie Haden".[4] The woodiness of his tone was also compared with Haden's, with the addition of "a certain Gary Peacock-like edge to it".[4]


As leader/co-leader[edit]

  • Blues for Charlie, a solo bass tribute to Charlie Haden
  • Expectation, with Los Angeles Jazz Ensemble (Kind of Blue)
  • Like a Dream (Cryptogramophone) featuring Brad Mehldau
  • Pictures (ACR), co-led with Adam Czerwniński
  • Raindance (ACR), co-led with Adam Czerwniński
  • Storybook (Jazz Compass), co-led with Larry Koonse
  • Standards 2: Movie Music (Fuzzy Music), co-led with Peter Erskine, Bob Mintzer and Alan Pasqua
  • Conversation Piece (Naxos Jazz), with Los Angeles Jazz Quartet
  • Look to the East (Naxos Jazz), with Los Angeles Jazz Quartet
  • Family Song (Not Two), with Los Angeles Jazz Quartet
  • Astarte (GOWI), with Los Angeles Jazz Quartet
  • Traveling Birds Quintet (Polonia), with Traveling Birds Quintet
  • Return to the Nest (Polonia), with Traveling Birds Quintet

As sideman[edit]

With Kei Akagi

  • Aqua Puzzle (2018)

With Bill Cunliffe

  • Live at Bernies (2001)

With Kait Dunton

  • Mountain Suite (2012)

With Yelena Eckemoff

  • Flying Steps (2010)

With Peter Erskine

  • The Interlochen Concert (2009)

With Terry Gibbs

  • Wham (1999)

With Anna Maria Jopek

  • Upojenie (2003)
  • Barefoot (2002)
  • Bosa (2000)

With Larry Koonse

  • Storybook (2006)

With Charles Lloyd

With Bennie Maupin

  • Penumbra (2003)

With Bob McChesney

  • Chez Sez (2015)

With Brad Mehldau

With Josh Nelson

With Sara Niemietz

With Jack Nimitz

  • Live at Capozzoli's (1997)

With Alan Pasqua

  • My New Old Friend (2005)
  • Northern Lights (2018)

With Bobby Shew

  • Play the Music of Reed Kotler (2001)

With David Sills

  • Big (2002)

With Kuba Stankiewicz and Peter Erskine

  • Music Of Henryk Wars (2017)
  • Music Of Bronislaw Kaper (2016)
  • Music Of Victor Young (2015)

With Gavin Templeton

  • Asterperious Special (2012)

With Ben Wendel

  • Simple Song (2009)

With Mike Wofford

  • Time Cafe (2001)

With Aga Zaryan

  • Remembering Nina And Abbey (2013)
  • A Book of Luminous Things (2011)
  • Live At Palladium (2008)
  • Picking Up The Pieces (2006)
  • My Lullaby (2002)

Main source:[13]


  1. ^ a b "Darek Oles". USC Thornton School of Music. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Kohlhaase, Bill (November 27, 1998). "L.A. Jazz Quartet Plays on Polish Connection". Los Angeles Times. 
  3. ^ Heimbauer, Gary (December 2010) "Bob Mamet". Jazz Inside. p. 44.
  4. ^ a b c d Kelman, John (September 19, 2004) "Darek Oleszkiewicz: Like a Dream". AllAboutJazz.
  5. ^ a b Dryden, Ken "Darek Oleszkiewicz – Like a Dream". AllMusic. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  6. ^ Cook and Morton 2008, p. 989.
  7. ^ Cook and Morton 2008, p. 841.
  8. ^ Nemeyer, Eric (May 2010) "Peter Erskine". Jazz Inside. p. 33.
  9. ^ "Adam Czerwniński & Darek Oleszkiewicz 'Raindance'". Allegro Records. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  10. ^ "Darek Oles". California Institute of the Arts. Retrieved December 31, 2016.
  11. ^ Woodard, Josef (June 2015) "Bob McChesney – Stepping into the Spotlight". Down Beat. p. 23.
  12. ^ O'Connell, Sean J. (December 2015) "Kait Dunton – Intricate Trio Sounds". Down Beat. p. 24.
  13. ^ Cook and Morton 2008.