Illya has frequent flyer points and his car needs regular tyre changes!
Illya plays the full spectrum of live music shows - from music festivals to tiny watering holes all around Australia
Illya has spent the last 20 years playing in bands for some of Australia's finest in the blues & roots field, including:
- 'Continental' Robert Susz - in the Continental Blues Party, The Rinky Dinks, and the Soul Kinda Feeling Revue
- Don Hopkins - in duos, trios, the Swamp Elixir, the Tribute to Fats Domino, the 50s rock'n'roll bands and a whole lot more
- Declan Kelly - onstage and on his Adrift CD
- Kate Meehan - at festivals all over NSW, QLD & VIC and on her As Long As I've Sung the Blues and Soulshaker CDs
- Mick on Wheels - in his Mick on Wheels Band, in the 'Voices of Soul Revue' and 'Ray Charles & Friends' shows
- Pat Powell - playing soul, funk, reggae & all flavours of the blues
- Stephanie Marchant - playing all over Sydney's inner west, and holding down a monthly residency at The Merton Hotel in Rozelle since 2012!
- Clayton Doley - at festivals & special events across NSW & QLD to promote Clayton Doley's Bayou Billabong CD and 'Bad Decisions' single
- Tomcat Playground - playing Mississippi delta & West Coast jump blues at blues festivals in NSW & Victoria and on their Lock Stock & Everything CD
- Recording and performing live with Bonnie Kay and the Bonafides, on their Handyman CD, and at shows all over Sydney
- A 3 year stint in The Sicarios - a project led by the dynamic Lloyd G - that covers the classic songs of Neil Young, CCR and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Illya also regularly 'fills in' for absent guitar players - and the likes of Darren Percival, Gail Page, Bruce Bongers, Jim Conway, the Australian Rolling Stones Tribute Show, reggae band Kinsky, Matt Ralph's Bob Dylan Tribute Show, Johnny G & the E-Types, Shane Flew's 'Bad Moon Rising' tribute to CCR, and a whole lot more have called on his services at a moment's notice.
Illya has had the opportunity to work with some of Australia's musical icons, including Wendy Saddington (RIP), Harry Brus, Mark Kennedy, Leo De Castro (RIP), Tina Harrod, Margret RoadKnight, Jeannie Lewis, Andy Baylor, Zoltan John (aka Wally Budai), Rudy Miranda, Dave Warner, Paul Gray (RIP) Fantine Pritoula, Martin Cilia, Tim Partridge (RIP), Ian Lees, Robbie Souter (RIP), Hamish Stuart, Jak Housden, Lloyd G, Tim Gaze, Bob Daisley, Monica Trapaga, Karen Lee Andrews, Katie Noonan, James Greening & Miroslav Bukowsky - either onstage or in the recording studio.
Illya has also donned the headphones and been tucked away in the corners of the odd recording studio, appearing on:
- Clayton Doley 'Love and Warmth', 'Cruel Reminders' and 'Bad Decisions' singles (2022)
- Bonnie Kay & the Bonafides - Handyman (2021)
- Elephant In The Room - The Older We Get, The Better We Were (2020)
- Tomcat Playground - Lock Stock & Everything (2019)
- Bob Daisley & Friends - Moore Blues For Gary (2018) featuring Eric Singer, Steve Morse, Steve Lukather, John Sykes, Joe Lynn Turner ... and Illya Szwec!
- Elephant In The Room - The Finn (2014) http://robgrosser.com/elephant-in-the-room
- Introducing Illya Szwec (2013)
- Declan Kelly - Adrift (2009) http://www.vitamin.net.au/albumdefault.asp?ai=270
- Chris Mawer - One Way Ticket (2008)
- Illya Szwec's Groove Depot (2005)
- Women'n'Blues - a CD featuring Wendy Saddington, Sally King, Margret RoadKnight, Kate Dunbar & Jeannie Lewis (2003)
- Kate Meehan - Soulshaker (2003) Chain award winner!
- The Wolverines - Wolverines'n'Roses (2003) Golden Guitar winner!
- Kate Meehan - As Long As I've Sung the Blues (2000) Chain award winner!
- TJ Blanch File (1999) Chain award winner!
And he's played at a few different places, like:
The Sydney Opera House, The Enmore Theatre, The Gympie Muster, Thredbo Blues Festival, Manly Jazz Festival, Blues at Bridgetown in WA, Darling Harbour Jazz & Blues Festival, Cronulla Jazz & Blues Festival, Bellingen Blues Festival, Great Southern International Blues Festival in Narooma, Wangaratta Jazz & Blues Festival, Echuca Blues Festival & Bendigo Blues Festival in Victoria, The Basement, The Mac in Surry Hills, Palmer & Co, The Opera Bar, Frankie's Pizza By The Slice, Butchers Brew, Lazybones and The Pyrmont Bridge Hotel in the city of Sydney, Lizottes in Newcastle, Thredbo Jazz Festival, Perisher Peak Festival in NSW snow country, the Beach Hotel in Byron Bay, the Palmwoods Hotel on QLD's Sunshine Coast, Blues at Broadbeach and the Noosa Jazz & Blues Festival, playing for the Launceston Blues Society and Red Hot Music in Devonport in TAS, and the Rainbow Hotel and St Kilda Bowling Club in Melbourne!
Groove Depot and Irie Man! Have a look & a listen!