In 2011, Quidam will celebrate 20 years on stage as one of Europe’s premiere purveyors of melodic progressive music.
Hailing from Poland, Quidam began life as a hard rock/blues trio called Deep River, featuring guitarist and core member Maciek Meller. They were soon joined by keyboardist Zbyszek Florek and singer Emila Derkowska. The arrival of flutist Ewa Smarzynska provided the impetus to shift the musical direction toward a more symphonic sound. At this point the name was changed to Quidam, a Latin word meaning “someone” but here making specific reference to a poem by Kamil Norwid.
Quidam’s live shows, fronted by the charismatic Derkowska, gained local fame. In April 1996, at the first festival of Polish prog rock, the group unveiled its eponymous debut, featuring its now classic tracks “Sanktuarium” and “Ptone.” Released by the local label Ars Mundi, the album slowly trickled out of Poland and garnered favorable reviews. It featured guest appearances and songwriting credits from members of Collage. The group made its first international appearance in Holland in January 1997, building a following there and in France. Two nights in April that same year, Derkowska and Smarzynska were invited to perform the overture of Harbour of Tears on-stage with Camel. Three months later, the group performed at the festival ProgLive ’97 in Corbigny, France.
In early 1998, Jacek Zasada replaced flautist Smarzynska, only weeks before the recording sessions for Sny Aniolow started. The album was released by Rock-Serwis in Poland and Musea in France, the latter under the title Angels’ Dreams with re-recorded English vocals. In March of 1999, Quidam made its first overseas trip to headline the third Baja Prog festival in Mexicali, Mexico. Meanwhile, the relationship between Quidam and Camel developed in unexpected ways as bassist Colin Bass hired the group to open for him and back him up during his European tour promoting his solo album Outcast of the Islands.
In the years since, Quidam has endured several personnel changes but has maintained their reputation as a top live act. The addition of vocalist Bartek Kossowicz, drummer Maciek Wróblewski, and bassist Mariusz Ziółkowski brought new life to the band’s sound, resulting in 2005’s SuREvival release.
The band participated in several prestigious festivals in support of its 2007 release, Alone Together, including Reichenbach Prog Fest, Summers End Festival, Night Of The Prog, and Prog Sud. In 2009, while recording their second DVD release Strong Together, the band was joined by special guest Matylda Ciołkosz on violin, and she has since become a member of the band and an important addition to their sound.
It gives us great pleasure to welcome Quidam to the Rites of Spring festival for their first appearance in the United States.