Ed Partyka is a bass trombonist/tubist, composer/arranger and conductor. Originally from Chicago Illinois, he received a BA degree from Northern Illinois University before moving to Germany in 1990. He completed a master’s degree in jazz trombone performance at the Conservatory of Music in Cologne, where he was also a member of the G.E.M.A. Jazz Composers Workshop, led by Bob Brookmeyer. He was recipient of the 2000 “A.S.C.A.P. / I.A.J.E. Commission Honouring the Centenary of Louis Armstrong”. He was 1st prize-winner of the 1998 “NDR Musikpreis” (Hamburg), 1st prize winner of the Jazz Composers Alliance 1998 Julius Hemphill Composition Awards (Boston) and finalist in the 1996 HR Emerging Composers Competition (Frankfurt).
Ed has toured and recorded with the Bob Brookmeyer New Art Orchestra, Vienna Art Orchestra, Carla Bley, WDR Big Band, NDR Big Band, Mnozil Brass, Gansch & Roses and the Roman Schwaller Nonet. He currently leads the Ed Partyka Jazz Orchestra and was musical director of the Concert Jazz Orchestra Vienna from 1999 – 2006 and the Sunday Night Orchestra from 2000 – 2007. Mr. Partyka has appeared as a guest conductor with the Danish Radio Big Band, HR Big Band, NDR Big Band, RIAS Big Band, RTV Big Band Slovenia, UMO Helsini Jazz orchestra, Summit Jazz Orchestra, Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, Lucerne Jazz Orchestra, Generations Festival Big Band, Zürich Jazz Orchestra, Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra, Aarhus Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, Concept Art Orchestra, Milan Svoboda ́s Prague Big Band, Oslo Workshop Big Band, Graz Composers Orchestra and the German National Youth Jazz Orchestra (“BuJazzO”). His most extensive collaboration in recent years has been with the Frankfurt Radio Big Band (HR Big Band), where he leads projects in a wide variety of styles and genres. During his tenure with the HR Big Band he has arranged music for and conducted projects with jazz artists Robben Ford, Theo Bleckmann, China Moses, Fay Claassen and Dena Derose, Fado vocalist Ana Moura, electronic jazz group NuBox, Brazilian vocalist Fabiana Cozza, rock-blues artist Chuck Leavell, the pop band Sunrise Avenue and German pop star Tim Bendzko.
Other notable recent artistic activities include arranging and conducting a program of music for Eliane Elias and the Danish Radio Big Band (2018) as well a conducting the UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra with guest artist Lizz Wright (2019).
In December 2018 Ed Partyka was appointed artistic director and chief conductor of Finland’s UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra, his duties there will commence in early 2020. As a recording musician Ed Partyka can be heard on over 60 albums, including 11 released under his own name. Most notable of these are the recordings of his Ed Partyka Jazz Orchestra, the Vienna Art Orchestra, WDR Big Band and Bob Brookmeyer’s New Art Orchestra.
Also active in the area of jazz education, he has presented workshops and masterclasses at universities throughout Europe and has held teaching positions at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany, the Conservatory of Music in Vienna and was “Visiting Professor of Jazz Composition” at the Academy of Music in Katowice, Poland from 2008 – 2010.
Ed Partyka is currently Professor for Jazz Theory & Composition and department chairman of the Jazz Institute at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria and teaches composition at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Lucerne, Switzerland.
In addition to his career in Europe, Mr. Partyka has built a strong connection to the Australian jazz scene over the last 20 years with teaching engagements at Monash University in Melbourne and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He was “Artist in Residence” at the West Australian Academy of the Performing Arts (WAAPA) in 2006 and appeared as a guest artist/educator with the West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) in 2005, 2012. 2015 & 2017.