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Aleksandra Siemieniuk

Dobro, acoustic, electric and baritone guitar player. Her technique includes fingerpicking and slide. She has also written a number of papers on Afro-American musical styles.

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Beginnings

Why do I play the guitar at all? Well, probably because I started to some time ago and I haven’t given up ever since. Firstly, I was self-taught, inventing my own riffs, melodies and motifs. Only later did I decide to enrol for blues guitar workshop Blues nad Bobrem in Bolesławiec (PL) where I got to know my music teacher Romek Puchowski. It was thanks to him that I learned how beautiful blues music is and that... Dobro guitar exists.

As a result, my first true band was founded – the blues duo Proud Mary, together with guitarist and vocalist Karolina Koriat [listen]. During the three years, our duo performed at the majority of Polish and international blues festivals, and was appreciated for the respect for tradition, quality of performance, and artistic originality. The duo the Afro-American folklore of the 1920s and the 1930s – the traditional, acoustic country blues, simple music with deep content, emotional and groovy, and inventive in the field of guitar technique.

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Later

Fascination with these music styles led me further: overseas. In 2002, together with Karolina Koriat, we were granted a scholarship by the International Guitar Seminars which allowed us to take part in the acoustic and slide guitar workshops in New York! Our teachers there were Bob Brozman, Woody Mann, John Cephas and many other outstanding musicians.

One year later, I took part in Acoustic Sessions in Prague with Woody Mann. In 2004, I became guitarist with Blue Sounds, music project of Joanna and Tomasz Karkoszka. Our work has been recorded after two years of touring on CD 'Tak naprawde, to wszystko z milosci', which included, apart from acoustic blues standards, original compositions in a similar style. The album was reissued under the English title: 'To Be Honest It’s All Because of Love' by a Japanese label BSMF Records.

In that time, love for music made me to devote my MA thesis in Sociology to the evolution, significance and use of sound in Afro-American music. Its vast excerpts were published in Music quarterly journal and Twój Blues (‘Your Blues’) music magazine. You can take a look at them under ‘Projects’.

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Now

Since 2005, I have been member of Magda Piskorczyk band – artist with unique voice, charisma and stage personality. Magda Piskorczyk tours extensively in Poland and abroad. The band performed at the following events: International Blues Challenge (Memphis, USA), Blues-sur-Seine (France), City Sings Gospel (Liverpool, UK), Resonator Blues Festival (Germany), Dresden Blues Festival (Germany), Blues Goes East, Karlsruhe (Germany), Bluezzfest, Burgas (Bulgaria), Gastroblues, Paks (Hungary), Prerov Jazz Festival (Czech Rep.), Dusty Road, Tidaholm (Sweden), Blues Camp, Fredrikstadt (Norway), and numerous smaller venues.

In 2008, our first common album, and first Magda’s live album at the same time, ‘Magda Live’, was issued. It was nominated to the Polish Music Industry Award Fryderyk 2009 in the category Album of the Year.

The following album recorded a concert featuring Swedish vocalist and guitarist Slidin’ Slim in Tarnobrzeg (PL) in 2009. The CD 'Magda Piskorczyk & Slidin' Slim - Live at Satyrblues' was released in August 2010 by Artgraff.

The year 2011 started with my self-recorded EP ‘World Looks Bad’. It includes five original instrumental pieces for guitar. I consider it a warm-up before a proper solo album I am working on.

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On daily basis

I am fascinated with black music in the very broad sense of the word – beginning with the tradition of West Africa, via blues-scented genres like gospel, soul, and funk, to the old-school and contemporary hop-hop. String instruments of Arab and Turkish origin, like oud, soz, or gnawa, have been my latest passion. I also listen to the alternative music, heavy rock, and the late 1960s jazz. Finally, I am very fond of guitarists who create a musical vision rather than ‘just’ play the guitar, which is why, being a guitarist myself, I do not listen that much to solo guitar music.

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