Joachim Mencel (born 1966) – A pianist, composer, lyricist (hurdy-gurdy player) and music producer.
A graduate of the Faculty of Jazz and Light Music at the Music Academy in Katowice (1991). A cofounder of New Life’m, he has played in the bands created by Janusz Muniak, Andrzej Cudzich, Nigel Kennedy and more. He collaborates on a regular basis with the American clarinet player Brad Terry (LPs: ‘All about Spring’, ‘Colorado’, ‘Live in Fort Andross’). Mencel is an esteemed vocal music arranger. He composed and arranged songs for Ewa Bem (LP: ‘Kakadu’), Mieczysław Szcześniak, Nina Stiller, Anna Maria Jopek, Kaissy and others. He also composed film, ballet and pantomime soundtracks. In 2006 he composed a jazz cantata named ‘Love has explained everything to me’ for Karol Wojtyła’s lyrics to be performed by a jazz combo, a string orchestra, a boy choir and solo artists. Also in 2006 at the request of the Kościelski Foundation a new literary and musical project named El Greco was created. In 2009 Mencel wrote an oratorio called ‘Transitus’ about the life and death of saint Francis of Assisi to be performed by an orchestra, a mixed choir, childrens choir and soloists accompanied by a rhythmic section. He has toured in many European, American and Asian countries, mainly with his independent project named jmTrio (LP: ‘lnterludium’). In addition, Mencel has collaborated with a great number of musicians, including: Lee Konitz, Dino Saluzzi, Richard Galliano, Dave Liebman, David Friedman, Eddie Henderson, Ronnie Burrage, Charlie Mariano, Rufus Reid, Terry Clarke, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Vitold Rek, Jarek Śmietana, Marcin Pospieszalski and many more.