Clocking up frequent flyer points and regular tyre changes on the car are the result of Illya's visits to everything from music festivals to tiny watering holes around Australia. Some of these include the The Gympie Muster, Thredbo Blues Festival, Wangaratta Jazz & Blues Festival, Blues at Bridgetown in WA, Darling Harbour Jazz & Blues Festival, Bellingen Blues Festival, Great Southern International Blues Festival in Narooma, The Basement, The Mac in Surry Hills, The Opera Bar and The Pyrmont Bridge Hotel in the city of Sydney, 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.
Illya has spent the last 15 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 - holding down a residency at The Merton Hotel in Sydney's inner west for the past 6 years
- Clayton Doley - at festivals & special events across NSW & QLD to promote Clayton Doley's Bayou Billabong CD
- 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 Darren Percival, Gail Page, Bruce Bongers, Jim Conway, the Australian Rolling Stones Tribute Show, Matt Ralph's Bob Dylan Tribute Show, Johnny G & the E-Types 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, Tina Harrod, Margaret Roadknight, Jeannie Lewis, Robbie Souter (RIP), Hamish Stuart, Jak Housden, Lloyd G, Tim Gaze, Bob Daisley, Monica Trapaga, 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:
- 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!
Illya Szwec's Groove Depot is a band that changes from gig to gig, and you can expect to see many of Sydney's finest onstage, gettin' down and back up again on anything funk, soul, New Orleans, blues, reggae, swamp pop or boogaloo.
Band members include Clayton Doley, Lachy Doley, Rob Woolf, Sam Boyd, Don Hopkins (keyboards) Pat Powell, Troy Blanch, Steph Marchant, Wayne Jury (vocals), Vito Portolesi, Rowan Lane, Jan Bangma (bass), Jacob Cook, Declan Kelly, George Brugmans, Ivan Jordan, Jamie Cameron (drums), Bruce Bongers (sax & harmonica).
This band has held residencies at a variety of venues around the city of Sydney (The Pyrmont Bridge Hotel, The Blue Chip Bar, The Bald Rock Hotel, The Rose of Australia, The Mac, The Coopers Arms) and made treks up and down the coast ...
Illya will be showcasing various combinations of the band on his debut CD, which has just been released.
For more information on the band, go to Groove Depot.