Ewa Demarczyk Bookmark and Share


16 January 1941

Ewa Demarczyk, born in Cracow (Kraków) in the southern part of Poland, is a singer and actress. She is nicknamed the ‘Black Angel’ and was one of the biggest stars in Warsaw and Moscow during the sixties and seventies. She graduated from the National Theatre School in Kraków in 1966 (drama and piano. In the early sixties, she collaborated in many theatre and cabaret performances. Between 1962 and 1966 she worked with Polish composer Zygmunt which resulted in her debut single release in 1963. Laqter on, she worked with Polish composer Andrew Zaryckim, a collaboration that would last for many years until mid eighties.

Her songs convey strong emotions, partly associated with the counter-culture movement in Poland during the 1970s and 1980's, when the country was under communist rule. Because of censorship, her songs are not ostentatiously anti-communist or political. Apparently, through subtle means of imagery, symbolism and metaphors that implicitly refer to concepts of freedom, in some of the songs she expressed the general discontent with the authoritarian rule of the period. Demarczyk is especially known for her interpretations of (mostly Polish) poets, like Julian Tuwim, Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński and Miron Białoszewski. Her songs often deal with existential themes and are somtimes referred to as ´sung poetry´.

In 1962 she won the National Student Song Festival, a year later the festival in Opole singing the song ‘Black Angels’. In 1964, she triumphs at the international festival in Sopot with the song ‘Grande valse brillante’ International performances follow in Paris (L’Olympia), New York (Carnegie Hall), London (Queen Elizabeth Hall’ and Tokyo (Theater Cocoon).

She is a forceful performer with theatrical power and a voice that ranges from an intimate whisper to a fortissimo roar of passionate intensity. It does not matter if you do not understand the Polish or Russian lyrics – with her dramatic theatrical expression and vocal art she will get to you any way. Every song she performs is in fact a short musical drama of enormous intensity. Perhaps because her performances are so demanding, Demarczyk has produced relatively few songs, but every one of them is considered a masterpiece.

Her album output is extremely limited – only one regular album ‘Ewa Demarczyk śpiewa piosenki Zygmunta Koniecznego’ - in 1969, followed by a Russion album release in 1975 and a live double album in 1979. Since the eighties, Ewa Demarczyk rarely occurs, does not record new songs, and remains in the shadows. However, she keeps performing her old songs live and the concerts always end with standing ovations. Her performances are precisely designed spectacles, with great lighting effects and a high quality band.

In 1985, she established ‘Eve Demarczyk Theater’ in Cracow, a ‘National Theater of music and poetry’. After the fall of the iron curtain, the institute, which was paid for by the city of Cracow, was cause for a lot of debate. Some considered the funding of this institution as an expression of public patronage and support of an artist of the former era, that was not acceptable in modern days with free market. Latest information that we could found on this subject, was that the theatre had huge financial problems and had a legal issue regarding the unpaid rent for the past four years.
It is difficult to compare her with anybody whom we have known in the realm of song.

Demarczyk has influenced many artists, including Faun Fables who has recorded covers of her songs "Carousel With Madonnas" and "Taki Pejzaż". She was frequently rewarded: Gold Cross of Merit (1971), Officer's Cross of the Legion of French (1977), Knight's Cross of the Polish Order (1979), Merit for National Culture (1987) and Commander’s Cross of the Polish Order (2000).

On the web:

- Marek's unofficial website:http://www.demarczyk.pl

If you like this, you probably like... / european counterparts:

Hanna Hegerova (Czech Republic & Slovakia)

Catherine Ribeiro (France)

What do we think:

PA: Summer 2009, we spent our holidays in Poland. Since we had checked out some of her clips on youtube, we wanted to find some albums (both vinyl and cd) by Ewa Demarczyk. Finaly, in the third music store, we found two cd's (and two lp's in a second hand store). The next day we put the cd into the player of our car. After the first few seconds we were completely taken by Ewa's intriguing voice and songs. This is definitely some heavy, highly emotional stuff! On the one hand I regret that she did not record more albums. On the other hand, maybe she put everythning she has in the few albums she has released. And they are here for us to cherish and to spread the word about Ewa Demarczyk. So, anyone who claims to be interested in music, go to ebay, amazon or whatever site that offers Ewa's albums and buy them a.s.a.p.!

DB: Pfweh, listening to Demarczyk's albums is no easy excercise. PAUL ROYAL hasn't said a word too much. Many polish music fans will agree that she is one of the absolute gems in Polish popular music. If you enjoy your music black as night Ewa is your girl. If you like the lighter variety of the pop spectrum this might be a bit too heavy hearted for you. Raw emotions alert.


♪♪♪ - Karuzela z Madonnami (single) - 1963

♪♪♪♪♪ - Spiewa Piosenki Zygmunta Koniecznego - 1969

♪♪♪♪ - Эва Дэмарчик (Ewa Demarczyk, Russion release) - 1975

♪♪♪♪♪ - Live (double album) - 1979

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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