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Shaman Woman of the Polish music scene



Justyna Steczkowska is an extraordinary and multi-talented artist, who has come to be known, not only as a singer, violinist, composer and songwriter, but also as an actress and photographer.

She is one of the few Polish singers who has a four octave vocal range.

Thanks to her amazing talent, Justyna has gained a great recognition in the music industry, and millions of Poles have grown to love her artistry, charisma and unique style.

She has won a huge number of music awards in Poland, including, among others: Fryderyki (the Fryderyk Awards), Wiktory (the Wiktor Awards), Bursztynowy Słowik (the Amber Nightingale), the Róża Gali Award and SuperJedynki (the SuperOne Awards).

This singer has already released 16 studio albums, over 300 songs, about 40 video clips and has presented several thousand live concerts. She also has appeared on over 100 magazine covers.

Childhood



Aug 2, 1972


Justyna Steczkowska was born in Rzeszów on August 2, 1972. She is the fourth of nine children of Danuta and Stanisław Steczkowski.

In 1990, she graduated from high school with highest honors and had the honor of playing a violin solo in Henryk Wieniawski’s “Violin Concerto No.2 in D minor, Op.22” with the Symphony Orchestra of Artur Malawski Philharmonic in Rzeszów.

June 1994

In June, 1994, the participation in the first series of a television show “Szansa na sukces” (A Chance for Success) was a milestone in Justyna’s musical career. During the finals, she left both the jury and the audience speechless with her interpretation of the song “Buenos Aires” by Manaam.

July 1994

Her victory in “A Chance for Success” gave her the opportunity to take part in “Debiuty” (Debuts) show at the National Festival of Polish Song in Opole. She performed a song “Moja intymność” which brought her another victory – the Grand Prix Award at the Festival. At the time, Irena Santor said “Let’s not lose this Pearl”. These heart-felt words are extremely meaningful today.

April 1995


In April 1995, both successes, the victory in “A Chance for Success” and the Grand Prix Award in Opole, led Justyna Steczkowska to represent Poland in the 40th Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin. She sang the song “Sama” there.



One success after another



Year 1995


Her performance, during which she sang “Moja intymność” song at the Baltic Song Contest in Karlshamm, Sweden, resulted in a new Grand Prix Award. In the same year, she sang two songs – “Dziewczyna Szamana” and “Wrogu mój” at the 32nd Sopot Festival. Journalists appreciated her performance and she received another award.


In 1995, Justyna began her cooperation with Grzegorz Ciechowski. She worked on her debut studio album under the supervision of Grzegorz.

Mar 18, 1996

On March 18, 1996, her debut studio album entitled “Dziewczyna Szamana” (Shaman’s Girl) was released.
The album gained platinum status.

Awards

April 1997



The year 1996 belonged to Justyna and Gala Fryderyków, held at the beginning of 1997, which confirmed her position as an up-and-coming artist.


At this event, she won five the Fryderyk Awards which led her to set a new record. She was rewarded in the following categories: Best Female Vocalist, Newcomer, Best Song – “Oko za oko”, Best Pop Album – “Dziewczyna Szamana” and Best Clip – “Oko za oko”.


This year was also productive in another category – the Wiktor Award. She won in two categories: Best Vocalist and Artist of the Year.

Oct 27, 1997

The premiere of the second studio album entitled “Naga” (Naked) took place. The producer of the album was Grzegorz Ciechowski once again. This album also gained platinum status.



Year 1997

Justyna won an international contest “Le Prix Découvertes RFI Est 1997 competition” which was organized by Radio France International (RFI). She defeated 142 artists from 15 countries and she received the RFI Discoveries Award.

To the Ends of the Earth

July 1998

Justyna was the leading lady and she co-starred with Alexander Domagarov in a film “Na koniec świata” directed by Magdalena Łazarkiewicz. She also co-wrote the film soundtrack with Antek Łazarkiewicz. There were 20 songs on the album.



Aug 7, 1998



The premiere of the album “Na koniec świata” (To the Ends of the Earth).



November 1999



A concert tour entitled “Pożegnanie jesieni” (Farewell To Autumn) tour with Tomasz Stańko
.


Feb 19, 2000



The premiere of studio album “Dzień i noc” (Day and Night). This two-disc set gained platinum status.

Theatre



Oct 27, 2001



Justyna had a leading role in the trans-opera “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare. The performance took place in the Musical Theatre in Gdynia. Piano accompaniment was provided by Leszek Możdżer.

Nov 10, 2001



The premiere of the album entitled “Mów do mnie jeszcze” (Keep Speaking To Me) which was recorded in a duet with Paweł Deląg.
It included poems of unique poets like Cyprian Kamil Norwid, William Shakespeare and Kazimierz Przerwa-Tetmajer.


Oct 19, 2002

The premiere of the studio album “Alkimja” (Alkimya).
Justyna gained another Fryderyk Award in the category of Best Folk/World Music Album – for the album „Alkimja”.



Dec 4, 2004

A new studio album “Femme Fatale” was released. It is her special tribute paid to great divas of twentieth century, including: Anna German, Ewa Demarczyk, Edith Piaf and Milva. It features their songs (“Tańczące Eurydyki”, “Karuzela z Madonnami”, “Tłum”, “La cumparsita”) which Justyna decided to re-arrange and sing in a new way.


The Rose d'Or (Golden Rose) in Montreux



Nov 27, 2004



There was a musical theatre show recorded by TVP2 channel in the Kielce Cultural Centre. During this performance, Justyna sang songs from her studio album entitled “Femme Fatale”. It was in the top 10 of television concerts in Europe and it was awarded by the Golden Rose.

Woodstock Festival Poland

July 29, 2006

The artist participated in the 11th Woodstock Festival in Poland.


Her performance was shrouded in mystery until the very end and her personal identity was hidden under a pseudonym “Gravitations” which sounded familiar to the audience. The show attracted enthusiastic comments and it reverberated throughout the music industry.



Jun 1, 2007

The premiere of the studio album “Daj mi chwilę” (Just a Moment) took place and the album gained platinum status.

May 16, 2008

The ninth studio album “Puchowe Kołysanki” (Fluffy Lullabies) was released.
The album presented ten children’s lullabies which were composed by Justyna. The album gained golden status very quickly and a part of profits from the album was donated to the TVN Foundation “You are not Alone”.

Wiktor Awards

May 31, 2008

Justyna was awarded the Wiktor Award again. This award is given to remarkable personalities of the small screen by the Polish Academy of Television. These are people whose skills, talent and professionalism were appreciated not only by journalists but also by the audience.


Mar 20, 2009


The studio album “To mój czas” (It’s My Time) marked the first ten compilation albums. 
Victor Rakonczai, a Hungarian composer and producer, was responsible for the production. He is also a winner of some prestigious awards such as: the European Golden Artist Award, the Artisjus Composer of the Year and the VIVA Comet Awards.

June 2009


Justyna was the first Polish singer whose concert promoting her new album was broadcast online (via Internet). The show was performed in Toruń.

August 2009


Justyna was awarded the Diamond Microphone Award which is given by the Polish Radio for lifetime achievements.

December 2009


Justyna supports with great involvement various charity initiatives. One of them was Olivier Janiak’s project – “Music from the Heart”. Justyna performed a song “Hungry Love” a duet with Paweł Małaszyński.

Kim tu jestem (Who am I here)



May 2010


A video clip of the song “Kim tu jestem”, produced by Maciej Michalski, produced more positive reaction than one could have expected at that time. After several months, it was put in for the OGAE Video Contest and it waltzed off with a prize and outperformed other great performers like David Guetta. 


In Rzeszów

Jun 24, 2010

A unique event took place on the stage which was located on the Rzeszów Market. It was Justyna’s and Mimofon’s anniversary concert celebrating fifteen years of a stage career. During this show, audience members were able to hear the “15” project and see the performance which was prepared for Woodstock 2010!


In Kostrzyn


Jul 30, 2010



Justyna was invited to Woodstock again and one more time the stage was favorable for her. The successful performance produced good reviews. There was one special review, among others, which came from Papa Roach’s lips. The artist commended her unique stage creation. Then, Nigel Kennedy claimed that Justyna’s concert was… simply “dope”! :)

Jose Carreras

Jul 30, 2010



Not long after she left the Woodstock stage, she appeared on Toruń’s stage where she was singing with a world-famous tenor – Jose Carreras.



Year 2010

After a short visit in Egypt, where some shoots for video clips from “XV” were taken, Justyna was invited to participate in two music projects: “Ale Szopka” by Agnieszka Szczepaniak and “Mezalianse” by QM Music. While recording “Mezalianse”, she was collaborating with Maciej Maleńczuk.

February 21, 2011

The studio album “Mezalianse” (Misalliances) was hailed as a tribute to Kabaret Starszych Panów (Elderly Gentlemen’s Cabaret).

Jun 15, 2011



At the very beginning, an avant-garde and multidimensional vision of Agnieszka Szczepaniak was performed in a concert form. Then, the project was released on CD.

Charities



Feb 2012

Justyna became an ambassador of Foundation Podkarpackie Hospice for Children, a children’s charity in Poland. It cares for not only sick children but also their parents and it supports them mentally and financially.

New album

March 2012

A new studio album

March 2012

A new title of the jubilee album was revealed. Although its name seemed to be simple, it was full of symbols, and it looked like… “XV”.



Apr 2, 2012

A double studio album, which wasn’t an example of a classic or “best of” album, was released.



May 4, 2012

The “XV” album gained a lot of fantastic reviews from critics and fans. The promotion of the album was exceptional. The first live concert took place in… Riga! People, who crowded The Latvian National Opera had a chance to see Justyna in three different creations during one concert. Other concerts were held throughout Poland and the first one was in Warsaw.

Aug 2, 2012



Justyna was a guest musician at the International Music Festival “Energa Sopot Classic” with Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Sopot. It was a memorial concert of compositions by Wojciech Kilar. Additionally, Justyna was invited to participate in an orchestral concert with music of this remarkable Polish composer. It took place in Toronto, Canada.

November 2012

The “XV” studio album gained the Róża Gali Award in the category of Album of the Year.



The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity



January 2013

Justyna supported the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity which is as annual initiative presented by Jurek Owsiak.


The Voice of Poland

February 2013

During the official press conference of the second edition of The Voice of Poland, Justyna’s participation as a coach and member of the jury was announced. Fans were excited that their artist would sit in a famous red chair with Marek Piekarczyk, Patrycja Markowska, and Tomson and Baron from Afromental band.

Theatre

March 2013

Paradoxically, Justyna still had free time which she dedicated to prepare a performance “Śpiewnik Pana W.”. This musical show put her in a repertoire of Kabaret Starszych Panów. The audience was able to witness this performance in the Syrena Theatre, Warsaw.

May 20, 2013

The studio album “Puchowe Kołysanki 2” (Fluffy Lullabies vol. 2) premiered. This album, full of soothing sounds, was enriched by a charming fairy tale, read by Justyna. It tells a story of Rudolf, the one and the unique.

October 2013



Justyna received the Bursztynowa Róża (the Amber Rose) – an honorable for charity support.

November 2013

Justyna spent the rest of 2013 giving concerts and performing on the stage in “Śpiewnik Pana W.”.

December 2013

A great relief effort was made by APART, GALA and Justyna Steczkowska. They supported an institution for sick and abandoned children “UFNOŚĆ” in Częstochowa.

The Voice of Poland 4



January 2014

Justyna was a coach and a member of the jury in the fourth edition of The Voice of Poland.

Terra

April 2014

Precisely two years after the premiere of the studio album “XV”, Justyna came back with a new song entitled “Terra”. It became a teaser for her new album.


Placido Domingo

Apr 27, 2014

Justyna was a guest artist in Placido Domingo’s concert in Poznań. It was organized because of the canonization of Pope John Paul II. They sang a song together: “Abba Ojcze” which was written by Father Jan Góra. 



Polsat Sopot Festival 2014



Aug 23, 2014

On the stage of The Forest Opera in Sopot, during the Polsat Sopot Festival 2014, Justyna presented a unique recital devoted to her 20 year artistic career.

September 2014

One more time Justyna was a coach and a member of the jury in the fifth edition of The Voice of Poland.

Oct 1, 2014

The first concert, out of ten, from the “Magia trwa” (Magic Lasts) tour took place. It was a kind of summary of her 20 years on the stage.

Nov 25, 2014



The premiere of the studio album “Anima”


Dec 12, 2014

In the Dramatic Theatre of the capital city of Warsaw, there was a concert in a tribute to Grzegorz Ciechowski. Adam Sztaba composed new arrangements of Grzegorz’s greatest pieces. Justyna sang a song entitled “Moja krew”. The whole project was recorded in double issue (CD + DVD with a recording from concert) – “GRZEGORZ CIECHOWSKI – Spotkanie z Legendą”.



Year 2015

2015 was a year of intensive work for Justyna and two amazingly important concert tours took place. At the beginning of the year, there were the last concerts of the “Anima” tour which promoted the album of the same title. In April, the artist came back with a new tour – “Nie jestem tym kim byłam…” (I’m not the same as I used to be…) tour. The aim of these concerts was to celebrate the past 20 years of her stage career.


Apr 27, 2015

An amazing project “Maria Magdalena – All Is One”, created by Justyna Steczkowska and other artists, was presented to the audience. For a long time, this project, and every event connected with it, was a mystery. A new album and a movie was available for free. It was a kind of implicit and motiveless form which expressed Justyna’s and her co-workers’ love of art and her fans.

China

May 1-3, 2015


Justyna was the only representative from Poland at the Meet in Beijing Arts Festival 2015. Her performance captured the hearts of the Chinese audience! Adam Mickiewicz Institute supported the organization of the whole event.

SuperOne Award

Jun 13, 2015



Justyna Steczkowska gained the SuperOne Award in the category of Singer. It is a special award which is given during the SuperOne Competition in the National Festival of Polish Song in Opole. It is a kind of unique credit given by fans and a wide audience. 




Oct 2, 2015

The last concert from the tour which celebrated the 20 years of Justyna’s stage career took place in the Union Chapel Cathedral in London. In this mystical and ethereal place, both the songs from the “Anima” album and pieces from earlier albums sounded acoustically unique. 

The whole concert was recorded.

The Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis

Oct 21, 2015

In the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland there was a medal ceremony – The Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis. Twenty six artists who contribute to the Polish culture were awarded. This time medals were presented by the Minister of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, prof Małgorzata Omilanowska. Justyna Steczkowska was one of the awarded artists. Her Bronze Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis confirms not only Justyna’s unique contribution in the Polish culture but also her constant presence and participation in the creation of national heritage.

During her speech, professor Omilanowska mentioned the most important role of the artist in national heritage: “Every artist is a guide who leads through the culture. And this guidance must reach the hearts and minds of people who have different views, tastes and preferences”. These words describe the twenty years old art work of Justyna in the most accurate and complete way.


Oct 23, 2015

After a year of deep reflection connected with the sounds of “Anima”, there was time dedicated to real, Roman madness! The album “I na co mi to było?” (What was is for?) included 12 songs composed by Boban and Marko Marković. It is a new style of her artistic self. Filip Łobodziński was the author of the lyrics.

Nov 8, 2015



In ICE Kraków Congress Centre, there was a premiere concert from Justyna Steczkowska & the Orchestra Cygańska tour. Besides Justyna and her band, musicians from the Tsngunz Fanfare Avantura and dancers were on the stage. This concert began a unique tour enriched with multimedia, magical displays of light and crazy dances on the stage. The audience had a chance to watch an amazing show and listen to the whole album “I na co mi to było?” live during the performance.

Nov 30, 2015



This was the premiere of the charity song – “Sny domowe, sny anielskie”. Justyna with Artur Andrus for the second time shared their talents to support the Department of Nursing – Caring for children in Częstochowa. Artists donated the entire profits from the sales for this charity.


December 2015

2015 was a year with a strong charity theme. Justyna supported two projects which created unique calendars. The first one was “Kalendarz Dżentelmeni”, a calendar prepared for the action “Stop Bosym Stopom”. Olivier Janiak has been its leader for a long time. The second project was a calendar called “I…taki świat jest piękny” which was produced by Omena Mensah’s charity – Omenaa Foundation.



January 2016

At the beginning of the year, Justyna supported another edition of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. She gave to the founder of this project, Jerzy Owsiak, her outstanding work – released in a limited edition studio album “Maria Magdalena – All Is One”.

February 2016

Justyna has started her jubilee concert tour entitled “Justyna Steczkowska Acoustic” with her band and it is a celebration of the oldest studio album “Dziewczyna Szamana” which is twenty years old. However, during her concerts, the audience can hear not only the new arrangements of songs from the first album, but also some from her late albums such as “Daj mi chwilę”.

Mar 5-6, 2016

At the beginning of March, Justyna was invited to participate in the concert which took place in Ignacy Jan Paderewski Pomeranian Philharmonic in Bydgoszcz. During the “Pawbeats – Orchestra” concert, which promoted the second studio album of Marcin Pawłowski, the audience had a chance to hear Justyna in two songs. The first one was “Dziewczyna Szamana” and Krzysztof Herdzin made a new version of it. The second was composed by Pawbeats and it was “Afekt”. This song is available on the CD album entitled “Pawbeats – Orchestra”. The concert was recorded and released on DVD.

Maria Magdalena

Mar 10, 2016

The premiere concert from “Maria Magdalena” tour took place in March in Eter Club in Wrocław. The audience had a chance to hear for the first time all songs from “Maria Magdalena – All Is One”project live. Such songs as “Kochankowie syreny”, “Szachmistrz”, “Wybaczcie mnie złej” and “Leć” from “Anima” studio album and “Kryminalna miłość” from “XV” studio album were also arranged in a stunning club version. During the concert, which was cheered up by multimedia screens, Jakub Rene Kosik was standing by the console.

Śpiewnik Pana Wasowskiego

Apr 30, 2016

It was the last performance of “Śpiewnik Pana Wasowskiego” directed by Krzysztof Jaślar in Syrena Theatre in Warsaw. This show, which was in a tribute to Jerzy Wasowski, reminded of still current values presented by “Kabaret Starszych Panów” in a very humorous way. Justyna Steczkowska and Wojciech Malajkat gave a lot of fun and emotion to the audience during the last three years – this performance was present on the billing since 2013.

53th National Festival of Polish Song in Opole

Jun 5, 2016

During the 53th National Festival of Polish Song in Opole there was a final concert of Plebiscyt Złote Opole. The audience chose their favorites among 53 songs. Then, on the list of twenty the best songs, “Dziewczyna Szamana” was also present. Thanks to this, at the final concert “Złote Opole 2016” on the stage of amphitheater in Opole, Justyna was able to perform her most popular hit.

The Last Spectacle

Jun 29, 2016

“Śpiewnik Pana Wasowskiego” was performed for the last time in Międzyzdroje were the 21st International Festival of Stars took place. On the stage, besides Justyna Steczkowska and Wojciech Malajkat, the University of Warsaw Collegium Musicum Chamber Choir sang.

Walk of Fame

Jul 2, 2016

The last, fourth day of the 21st International Festival of Stars in Międzyzdroje was very special. There was a ceremony where six new handprints were added to the Walk of Fame and one of them belonged to Justyna. Her autograph and handprint there is a great honor which emphasizes Justyna Steczkowska’s timeless artwork.

Jul 31, 2016

The last day of July was a very special day for Justyna Steczkowska because she had the honor to sing at the stage of the Forest Opera in Sopot. She sang together with a well-known Spanish tenor – Maestro Jose Carreras. They charmed the Sopot audience. Her duets of popular songs accompanied by orchestra and prepared especially for this occasion, went down in history of Polish music. They sang such songs as “En Aranjuez con tu Amor” or “Amigos para siempre”. The audience was moved and even Jose Carreras was enchanted by Justyna.

Aug 27, 2016

The best way to have an unforgettable evening with a gypsy queen was to hear the Balkan sounds of Gypsies Orchestra, an amazing voice of Justyna and to see phenomenal dancers in the choreography of Tomasz Barański. Justyna performed a role of sultry femme fatale who made the audience dance. The amazing and energetic show was embellished by lyrics from the studio album “I na co mi to było?”, colorful visualizations and the real, Romany music (the stage, besides Justyna and dancers, was filled by musicians from Tsngunz Fanfare Aventura band). “Justyna Steczkowska & Orchestra Cygańska” concert took place on the stage of the Forest Opera in Sopot. The artist is going to release it on a DVD album.

Translated by: Paulina Merz