Born in Warsaw, Poland, multi-instrumentalist Witek „Little Boogie Slim” Bielski (piano, guitar, vocals, harmonica, drums and others) began taking classical piano lessons at the age of six. When aged sixteen, he became fascinated in playing guitar. His mentor, whom he met while visiting Mississippi, T.B.King, gave him advice on how to master the instrument: he advised him to start by playing blues music and gradually move on to other genres, which evolved from it. After a year he transposed all that he learned to play on the guitar, to the piano: he treated his hands as if they were two guitars, thus giving his piano playing an original, distinct style.
At roughly the same time, during a school fair he met harmonica-player Antek Kurek, with whom he formed the .. Chicago Blues Revue duo, in which he plays till today. They have both played in renowned clubs and on festivals in Poland including Tygmont Jazz Club (best jazz club in Poland, as a resident band). They have also played as a support band for artists such as Madga Piskorczyk (best blues singer in Poland) or Beata Kossowska (best women-harmonica-player in the world). Apart from that they have also taken part in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN in 2009, and have received much positive feedback.
Witek has also had the chance to play with artists such as Howard Levy, Greg Zlap, or Sebi Lee. As a solo act he also took part in a number of blues contest, at which he received a number of awards, most notably from Jaroslaw Śmietana at the Bluesroads Festival in Cracow. Here is an account of that performance:
“The last person to perform was Witek Bielski from Chicago Blues Revue, the youngest of the musicians appearing that evening. Despite his young age he has much stage experience, and his performance was music to my ears. He started off by playing a beautiful, archaic blues playing drums, guitar and singing simultaneously, which he dedicated to his friends Przytula and Kruk. Next, he switched to playing the piano, and charmed everyone which a flaming, dynamic boogie. He played with a great drive and showed that he has mastered the piano very well. When listening to Witek, I felt that he shouldn’t take part in the contest, but instead should perform in the main concert.”
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