about me > biography

Polish music industry has known me for over 30 years. I didn’t have big rises and falls but I was certainly being noticed. It all started with an amateur musician competition in my hometown of Pionki. For performing a song by Tadeusz Wozniak (whose work I adore) I received a vase as a promise of future bouquets. Indeed, they started flowing in a while later and keep coming.

I started writing my own songs and I found myself at the 15th Student Song Festival where I was awarded for my “Protest Song”. My music career began at that festival and from that moment on, as a solo artist, I started performing at events organised by the United Entertainment Corporation. I sang my own songs as well as some country standards.

In 1979, together with Iza Bielska, I was a soloist of a country and folk band “Tender”. We belonged to the mainstream of polish music and on stage we played alongside music stars of those days. We performed in Poland and abroad (the USSR, Czechoslovakia, the Federal Republic of Germany). We recorded 2 cassettes “Tender” and “Country po polsku” (country music in polish) for the Polish Radio and TV.

As a band we were awarded at the Polish song Festival in Opole in 1980 for the title “Ballada stara jak ziemia” (I composed music to this poem written by Teresa Filińska).

“Tender” was: Iza Bielska, Krzysztof Kołtoński, Bogusław Roszczyk, Stanisław Sawicki i Witold Żuk. Musicians involved and working with us were: Adam Kuran, Maciek Ostromecki, Jerzy „Suchy” Serafin i Tadeusz Srebrowski.

After leaving “Tender” I played country and bluegrass with different musicians and bands from this particular stream. 

In 1983 I started “Poker”. Our repertoire included songs by a wonderful bard Andrzej Garczarek, my own songs, country classics and traditional music from the UK. We made a long play record which was unusual in those days as only few were this lucky.

“Poker” was: Tytus Jakubowski, Zbigniew Jasiński, Robert Pionnier, Marek Tokarski, Mariusz „Zając” Smoluch. People involved: Kamil Buczkowski, Włodek Bielski, Kuba Świderski, Wojciech „Malina” Kowalewski, Robert Majewski, Marek Stefankiewicz, Arkadiusz Żak.

I received the title of “the most popular country performer” in 83, 85 and 86.

In cooperation with the community centre Ochota, I ran “Music at Szwed’s” at the Dedal club in the Warsaw Okecie area, where I tried introducing different types of music.

At that time country music started evolving in Poland. I participated in annual festivals, including the most prominent one: Piknik Country in Mragowo, which forever placed me among the performers of this musical stream.

Around that time I starred in a TV production “Model na uwiezi”, directed by Zbigniew Proszkowski, which was a kind of a fantasy based on my musical biography.

I represented Poland at the Euro Country Music Masters (Germany), at the World Troubadour Festival (Curacao) and at the International Song Contest (Ireland) where I was awarded for “Miej czas dla innych” (Find time for others).

I kept moving from one place to another and musicians I worked with were changing as well. I recall with great warmth my stay at Lacko, near Plock and working with musicians from this city: Grzegorz Janas, Krzysztof Kralka, Stanisław Psarski.

At my farm in Slask, where I bred horses, a few TV programmes were made “Muzyczni goscie Brzozowki”, “Teleferie”, “Country Bar”, videos for “TV Sniadaniowa” (Breakfast TV), documentaries for Warsaw TV Centre and a recital for channel 2 of Polish TV “Gdzies tam” (Somewhere there).

While working with a Cracovian band “Konwoj” I met Krzysiek Gablonski and that’s how we started “Spoko”. The third member of our band was an Armenian Gennadiy Dadaian, extremely talented pianist and accordionist. We played our own songs and traditional music from English-speaking countries.

The “Afirmacje” album was a result of my cooperation with jazz musicians. It includes my songs arranged by an excellent saxophonist Piotr Baron. Igor Pietraszewski, Zbigniew Czwojda, Paweł Janiszewski, Jarzy Szymaniuk, Zbigniew Adamczak, Zenon Chodorowski, Włodzimierz Krakus, Jacek Węgrzynowski, Zbigniew Lewandowski, Leszek Cichoński were all involved in a creation of this album.

While I was still living in Slask, “Spoko” turned into “Full Service” group and Krzysztof Gablonski became its artistic manager. Our work resulted in cassettes: “Gipsy River”, “Oh, Rembertow”, “Tomasz Szwed kierowcom” (Tomasz Szwed for the drivers) and CDs: “Tomasz Szwed” (green album) and “Tam jeszcze jest dobrze” (blue album).

During that time I received all possible awards and titles from the country milieu. Between 1997 and 2000 I was the winner of the “Trucker” magazine and radio stations’ award for “the most popular country musician”.

I was voted “the best composer” in 1998, “the artist of the year” in 1999 and 2000 and “a singer of the year” in 1999 and 2000. Several times I was awarded “a record of the year” and “a song of the year” prize.

Too often I am categorized as a “road song” writer. It has its positive impact, for example when I received the Automotive Transport Institute award for “Podrecznik poczatkujacego kierowcy”, even though metaphorically it talks about a distance to the world and life. Categorizing me as a country music artist is happening due to the media, my audience and myself. This means that the public coming to my concerts takes my songs literally, seeing only the “top layer”, because that’s how you listen to country music. But there are still people who wait patiently after the concert to ask me questions about the meaning of the lyrics…

In my repertoire you can find traditional Anglo-Saxon music, Celtic, blues, bluegrass and folk.

I am often invited to take part in shows as a singer, host and juror but also as a script writer or director. Music shows that I directed were: “Brewerie Artystyczne”, „Wesele - czyli wszyscy chłopcy z naszego puebla”, „Hurtownia Szwedex” and „Stowarzyszenie Wypędzonych z Raju”.

I also worked as a DJ at several radio stations: Flash, Echo, Krakow, Polish Radio channel 1.  
I was a host of the “Strefa Country” programme, by Roman Bochun at the Warsaw TV Centre.

Lately I’ve been appearing at comedy shows and on a TVN24 programme “Szklo kontaktowe”, making political comments with my songs.

I am also often invited to different TV or radio programmes as a musician or psychotherapist.