Already at the age of 12 he used to run through the yard with a guitar and cause envy with his friends playing the cult song „The house of the rising sun”. The passion from his childhood brought him to the stage in Monterey, where in 2006 played as the first Pole.
In his 28 year long scenic career he has played with among others: Tadeusz Nalepa, Wojciech Karolak, Jacek Krzaklewski, Jerzy Styczyński, Grzegorz Skawinski, Jan Borysewicz, John Jaworowicz, Pistol Pete, Stan Skiby, Kenny Carr, Carlos Johnson, Tony McPhee, or Johnny Tucker.
It began like that...
Leszek Cichoński was born on November 25th 1957 in Wroclaw. After yard concerting for friends, came the time for performances at school, during the prom ball, next, during the studies, for performances with the band in the student club Index. On the professional scene he debuted in 1981 CDN, playing with Pawel Kukiz during the event Rock na Wyspie. The year 1982 brought the performance at Jarocin Festival, but in 1984 came a change in style. Leszek Cichoński performed at Rawa Blues, and with that became bound with the blues environment. In that period he played with formations such as Grupa Bluesowa, WO or Pazur. In the line-up of the last, besides Leszek Cichoński came also W.Krakus and A.Ryszka.
Since that time Leszek Cichoński has been concerting without stopping. He has got involved in many projects, cooperated with such artists as: A Wodziński, J. Konefał, John Jaworowicz, J. Krzaklewski, Jurek Styczyński, Maciek Balcar, Anika, Sławek Wierzcholski and many others.
In the years 1986-1987 and with the group Blue Experience he played a series of concerts dedicated to Jimi Hendrix. It was another point in the biography of Cichoński when some years later he made Poland and his home city famous by playing a Hendrix song in a Guinness record breaking attempt. Before it came to that, Cichoński had cooperated with such bands as Joint Venture, taking part in the recording of the album „Kto wie (Who knows)” and with Ozzy, with her recording two singles.
Fullfilled dreams and trips
In the years 1988-89 one of the biggest dreams of Leszek Cichoński came true: cooperation with one of the best Polish blues and rock musicians, the idol from childhood – Tadeusz Nalepa. In two years Leszek Cichoński recorded with Nalepa the album „To mój blues (it is my blues)”, he performed at festival Rawa Blues'89 and played in that time on a tour through USA. Later, he also played in the duo Lucky Lol, with which he traveled the other part of the world – the contemporary Soviet Union.
On June 24th 2006 at Monterey Bay Blues Festival, the concert of Leszek Cichoński along with John „Broadway” Tucker Band came along , and he opened the festival on the main stage. Leszek Cichoński, as the first Pole played on the famous stage in Monterey. The first song to be heard there was the composition by Cichoński „Thanks Jimi”.
Spreading the passion
When it comes to influencing others with his passion to guitar play, as the first one in Poland he developed a guitar play instruction course. For the needs of the book, he even started his own print house „Midi-Max” and published on his own a book with a tape included in it to help beginners how to play. In 1992 the editors responsible for the book creation were awarded a Bronze Medal on the International Music Fair Intermedia. Furthermore Leszek Cichoński has developed and registered twelve episodes of the television course Blues-Rock Guitar with the participation of Jerzy Styczyński, Grzegorz Skawiński and Jan Borysewicz, emitted by Educational television TVP1, TV Polonia and published on a video tape.
Besides publishing a book and tutorial movies, Leszek Cichoński from 1992 organizes vacation workshops „Lato z Bluesem (Summer with Blues)” in Brodnica and Radków, „Blues nad Bobrem” in Bolesławiec and „Blues Express” in Zakrzew.
This effort was awarded three years later: Leszek Cichoński was honored by music journalists of the Polish Radio Program Three with the Maria Jurkowska Award for popularization of musical education among the youth.
Leszek Cichoński also works for other artists making courses, schools, workshops, writing books for adepts of the art of guitar play. In 1997 another series of television programs came along: „Guitar ABC” with the guest appearance of Krzysztof Pełech, „Gitara basowa bez tajemnic (Bass Guitar without secrets)”, or „Blues Rock Guitar” with the part of Marek Radula and Wojtek Seweryn.
Guinness Record breaking
It was also within his passion for the guitar and eagerness to spread it on others that in 2003 Cichoński initiated the Great Guitar Orchestra, which at the Wroclaw town square performed the famous hit by Hendrix „Hey Joe”. The first edition of the festival brought to the Wroclaw town square 588 participants of the event, which made it possible to set the new Guinness record. Since that time the record has been attempted every year on May 1st. The Wroclaw trials are part of the Festival „Thanks Jimi” which is dedicated to the music of the most famous guitarist in the World – Jimi Hendrix. Besides participants coming to Wroclaw from whole Poland and the world, in the time of the festival you can also hear the world famous guitarists and rock bands.
More about the guitar record in the section HISTORY.