He started learning to play violin at age of 7. He was 15, when he got his first harmonica. At the end of 60's he started playing with Silesian Blues Band (after a few years, already without Dudek, the band transformed into famous SBB). During studies he cooperated with blues band Hall (1972), and in 1974 with one of the most famous Polish blues performer, Tadeusz Nalepa.
He started serious blues adventure with founding Apokalipsa band in 1975. Later, since 1977 he created Irjan duo with Juno Janowski, and finally in 1981 he organized first edition of Rawa Blues Festival.
Irek Dudek yet again confirmed his talents, creativity and great feeling of blues. He performed New Orleans-like show (...) Great blues feast in masterful execution, full of fun, rhythm, colours, verve and expressiveness.
Na Przelaj, 1983
During third edition of this festival in 1983 he presented Sesja Bluesowa, blues big-band performing with break till today, being the only such a formation in Europe. One year later Shakin’ Dudi appeared – witty comment about Polish reality of that times (with Darek Dusza lyrics), wearing punk rhytms (Dudek's compositions). This band brought him the most famous hits, including „Au sza la la la”, „Och Ziuta” or „Za dziesięć minut trzynasta”.
One must enjoy extraordinary respect and deference in "the business" in order to gather so many excellent musicians in a single orchestra. Irek managed to do that. He proved to be fantastic bandleader, able to make a common joy with a company of instrumentalist.
Gazeta Poznańska, 1985
Irek Dudek activity gave him a title of „musician of the year 1985” in prestigous Jazz Forum magazine survey. In 1986 Blues-Rock Top tour took place, very important one for making blues and boogie popular in Poland. During this tour Dudek led huge formation, performing in large cities and little towns. Since 1988 he lived in Netherland for a few years, coming to Poland just to prepare for next Rawa Blues Festival editions. Event today he presents on Rawa his next, often premiere artistic projects.
Polish Irek Dudek Symphonic Blues orchestra performance was a sensation during Blues Days in Roth. He fascinated with his visionary project of blues band, complemented with full-range string orchestra, creating symbiosis between blues music and Polish melancholy. This new way of artistic exploration, exceptional one in blues, has been enthusiastically received by the festival audience.
Rother Bluestage, 1996
In 1993 he presented his another project Symphonic Blues, merging blues elements with symphonic substance of string instruments. This enterprise was very well received also in Germany, Austria and Netherlands, and show in "Subway" club in Cologne was recorded and sold in Europe.
Dudek's fascination about neo swing brings three LPs, issued under name of Shakin Dudi, with music mixing rock`n`roll and swing.
I'm wondering now for many years where the secret of Irek Dudek perfomances lies. Regardless of whether he proposes Symphonic Blues or Shakin’ Dudi version, the joy temperature is equally high (...) Dudek in a flash catches contact with an audience, involves them in the party, sings, plays and conducts. Also this time he ruled flawlessly on the stage.
Jazz Forum, 2005
The band reactivates in 2004, and in 2008, with a new members (but still with Darek Dusza) Shakin Dudi releases LP: "Złota płyta - ciąg dalszy". In October 2008 "Ziuta Blues", Irek Dudek biography by Marcin Babko is released.
In May 2010 he issued first clearly blues LP since 15 years - "Dudek Bluesy", recognized by i.a. Fryderyk award. The album's title references to "jazzy" term by no accident...
His latest LP so far is released in 2011 "Bo ładnym zawsze lżej", signed by Shakin' Dudi. What impacts on first hearing of this album, is energy. There are almost no ballads on it. Most tracks are fast and rhytmic. It's hard to believe Irek Dudek recorded it for his 60th birthday.
Author: Marcin Babko, official Irek Dudek's biography author ("Ziuta Blues"). Translation: Remigiusz Orlowski.