Edward Dębicki was born in Kalush, formerly in Poland, now in western Ukraine, on 4 March 1935. He is a poet, accordion player, writer and composer of music shows as well as the co-creator of scripts and scores for films by Władysław Ślesicki, Jan Łomnicki and Ryszard Filipski. In addition, he has composed more than 200 songs, among them ‘Cygański wóz’ [Gypsy wagon] (lyrics: Jerzy Ficowski) and ‘Idź swoją drogą’ [Go your Way], which won the Grand Prix at the Opolo Song Festival in Poland in 1995.
Dębicki spent his youth in a Romani group that travelled in the regions of Podolia and Volhynia and in the Vilnius area. After the war he remained in western Poland. He studied the accordion at the Gorzów music school, from which he graduated in 1953. Two years later, in 1955, he established the ‘Terno’ Gypsy Music Theatre in Gorzów Wielkopolski; and in 2002 he founded the ‘Stowarzyszenie Twórców i Przyjaciół Kultury Cygańskiej im. B. Wajs-Papuszy’ [B. Wajs-Papusza Association of Creators and Friends of Gypsy Culture]. Thanks to his initiative and efforts, Gorzów Wielkopolski has hosted the ‘Romane Dyvesa’ International Gypsy Band Meetings since 1989.
Dębicki is the author of a volume of poetry titled Pod gołym niebem [Under the open sky] (1993) and the books Ptak Umarłych” [The Bird of the Dead] (2004) and Wczorajszy ogień* [Yesterday’s Fire] (2012). He was awarded the Order of Polonia Restituta and, in 2012, the Gloria Artis Medal for Merit to Culture.
Dębicki, Edward. 1993. Teł nango boliben – pod gołym niebem. Szczecin: Wydawnictwo „Albatros”.
Dębicki, Edward. 2004. Ptak umarłych. Warszawa: Bellona.
Dębicki, Edward. 2012. Wczorajszy ogień. Ptak umarłych II. Gorzów Wielkopolski: Stowarzyszenie Twórców i Przyjaciół Kultury Cygańskiej im. Bronisławy Wajs-Papuszy.
Dębicki, Edward. 2016. Zagubiona droga. Cygańskie bajki. Gorzów Wielkopolski: Stowarzyszenie Twórców i Przyjaciół Kultury Cygańskiej im. Bronisławy Wajs-Papuszy.
Dębicki, Edward. 2018. Totenvogel: Erinnerungen. Aus dem Polnischen von Karin Wolff. Berlin: Friedenauer Presse.