Ewa Demarczyk (born January 16, 1941 in Kraków, Poland) is a Polish singer. She is generally associated with the Piwnica pod Baranami cabaret.
Demarczyk is recognized as one of the most talented and charismatic singers in the history of Polish music. She is praised for her unique interpretations, expression, and unusual stage personality. In the 1960s, she drew comparisons with Édith Piaf. In Poland, Ewa would be often referred to as "the dark angel".
She started career in 1961, when she joined Jagiellonian University Medical College's student cabaret Cyrulik. After one year she left Cyrulik for Piwnica pod Baranami, where she met Zygmunt Konieczny, with whom she would work for the next four years.
Her first big success was a performance at 1963 National Festival of Polish Song in Opole where she got an award for the songs "Karuzela z madonnami", "Taki pejzaż" and "Czarne anioły". Later the same year Ewa sang also at Sopot International Song Festival and was named the best artist of 1963 by Polish journalists. In 1964 she took the second place in Sopot for "Grande Valse Brillante". The artist went on to perform at Olympia in Paris, after Bruno Coquatrix's invitation, as well as at the ceremony celebrating 20th anniversary of United Nations.
In 1966, graduated from Ludwik Solski Academy for the Dramatic Arts (however, later she never played any part in a movie). The same year the artist teamed up with another composer, Andrzej Zarycki. The year 1967 saw the release of her first longplay album, Ewa Demarczyk śpiewa piosenki Zygmunta Koniecznego, which proved to be a major success and was later certified Platinum.
Demarczyk left the Piwnica pod Baranami in 1972. Two years later her next album was issued, including some new Polish songs plus four Russian-language versions of her previously known hits. It was released in Russia by the state-owned label Melodiya and sold in excess of several million copies. Later in the 1970s Ewa Demarczyk was awarded with an honorary award at Opole Festival and Order of Polonia Restituta.
Her 1982 live album, simply titled Live, turned out to be a big success, achieving Gold certification in Poland. In the mid-1980s the singer founded her own theatre in Kraków. In spite of formal difficulties, it was soon shut down, although enjoyed interest. In the 1990s her albums were re-released on CD and the artist got a number of awards in recognition of her input to Polish culture. Ewa Demarczyk continued to perform live until the late 1990s. In 2001, a foundation Teatr Ewy Demarczyk was created.
Her repertoire consists of demanding, not easily accessible interpretations of poems. Since her songs are often based on poems of great "classical" poets, such as Polish Julian Tuwim and Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński and non-Polish Goethe, Mandelstam, Rainer Maria Rilke or avant-garde writers, such as Miron Białoszewski, the genre that Demarczyk is associated with is called sung poetry.
In her performances, she unites both dramatic theatrical expression and vocal art (she is a graduate of both a drama school and conservatory, where she studied the piano). Every song she performs is in fact a short musical drama of enormous intensity.
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