Jacek Cygan, born on July 6, 1950 in Sosnowiec. A poet, songwriter and author of librettos. Throughout his career on the entertainment scene of Poland, he wrote over a thousand of song lyrics for the most acclaimed artists and performers.

Jacek Cygan is a graduate of the Emilia Plater High School in Sosnowiec. He holds M.S. degree from the Department of Cybernetics of the Military Academy of Technology in Warsaw.

He made his first steps as a songwriter and performer within the milieu of the student culture. In the 1970s he cofounded “Nasza Basia Kochana” the band with which he won annual (1976) Festival of Student Song in Kraków. Ever since he cooperated with numerous leading Polish composers, singers and vocalists such as Grażyna Łobaszewska, Edyta Geppert, Edyta Górniak, Maryla Rodowicz, Jerzy Filar, Seweryn Krajewski, Krzesimir Dębski, Włodzimierz Korcz, Andrzej Zaucha and Ryszard Rynkowski. Songs with his lyrics five times won Grand Prix at the National Festival of Polish Songs in Opole. In 1994, his song performed by Edyta Górniak, received Second Prize at the annual Eurovision Festival in Dublin.

Another chapter on the list of Cygan’s creative achievements are songs for children. For ten years he hosted TV and stage variety show “Dyskoteka Pana Jacka” (“The Discoteque of Mr. Jack”) which was extremely popular among young audience and TV viewers. In 2011, his book for children “Cyferki”(Small Number) came to the bookstores.

Jacek Cygan published three volumes of his poems: „Drobiazgi liryczne” (Lyrical Oddments), Oficyna Literacka Publishers, Kraków, 1995; “Ambulanza”, Bonobo Publishers, Warsaw, 2005; “Pies w tunelu” (Dog in the Tunnel), Iskry Publishers, Warsaw, 2011. The last two received prestigious literary awards. Some poems from the “Ambulanza” volume were included into the “Anthology of Italian Poets – “Floriregio”, published in Florence in 2008.

In April 2016, SENFKORN Publishers in Görlitz released Jacek Cygan’s selection of poems (in German) titled “Zeit Reisen” (A Journey in Time), translated by Dagmara Kraus with an introduction by Tomas Schultz.

For the past twenty years Cygan has worked with Leopold Kozlowski of Kraków, the last surviving klezmer of East Galicia. Their joint artistic effort resulted in the show “Rodzynki z migdałami” (Raisins with Almonds) staged in synagogues and concert halls throughout Poland and Europe. Cygan translated – from the Yiddish language – few dozens of old Jewish songs. In 2006, all were included into the separate anthology.

In 2009, he published (Austeria Publishers in Kraków) a book „„Klezmer – Opowieść o życiu Leopolda Kozłowskiego – Kleinmana” (Klezmer – the Life Story of Leopold Kozłowski – Kleinman). In 2012, it appeared in Germany as “Der Letze Klezmer” (Metropol Verlag in Berlin).  Also in 2012, Jacek Cygan translated thirty songs of the legendary Cracovian bard and poet Mordechai Gebirtig from Yiddish into Polish. The book of those translations (“Bądź mi zdrów, Krakowie” – Blajb gezunt mir, Kroke) was released by Austeria Publishers.

Cygan’s translation works also include monumental verbal/ musical forms like “Messiah” by G. F. Handel or the musical „Notre Dame de Paris” by L. Plamandon & R. Cocciante.

He is the author of the theatrical play „Kolacja z Gustawem Klimtem” (The Supper with Gustav Klimt). In 2014, it premiered on the stage of STU Theatre in Kraków.

Theatrical play „Supper with Gustav Klimt” was translated into German by Roman Frankl. Premiere performance took place on May 21st, 2016 at the Pygmalion Theatre in Vienna as „Abendessen mit Gustav Klimt”. It was directed by Nicolae Vladulescu and major roles were performed by Geirun Tino, Madeilene Steinwender, Elisabeth Vanca.

October 2014 brought another book by Cygan (Znak Publishers) „Życie jest piosenką” (Life is a Song) with forty texts of his song lyrics supplemented by stories of their origins. The book was followed by his self-directed show “Cygan w Polskim – Życie jest piosenką” (Cygan in the Polski – Life is a Song) staged at the Polski Theater in Warsaw.

In February 2016, ZNAK Publishers in Kraków released selection of short stories by Jacek Cygan titled “Destiny, Luck, Coincidence”. The book is enriched with the photographs by Leszek Mądzik.

In 2013, Jacek Cygan was awarded with the “Gloria Artis” Silver Medal for his outstanding merits to the Polish culture. He is also the Bachelor of the “Order Uśmiechu” (The Order of Smile), the only distinction in the country bestowed by the children. It was presented to him at the primary school in Sosnowiec – Niwka, the same Cygan had attended in his early years.

In November 2014, the City of Sosowiec awarded Jacek Cygan with the title of its Honorary Citizen.