Urszula Bogumiła Dudziak-Urbaniak (born 22 October 1943) is a leading Polish jazz vocalist. She has worked with artists such as Krzysztof Komeda, Michał Urbaniak (her ex-husband), Gil Evans, Archie Shepp, and Lester Bowie. Her 1970s song, "Papaya", gained widespread popularity in Asia and Latin America in 2007.
Dudziak was born in the Straconka, now a neighborhood of Bielsko-Biała, Poland. She studied piano, but began to sing in the late 50s after hearing records by Ella Fitzgerald. Within a few years she was one of the most popular jazz artists in her native country. She met and later married Michał Urbaniak. In the late 60s they began to tour overseas and in the 70s settled in New York City.
Dudziak has some problems with language and customarily eschews words in favour of wordless vocalizing that is far more adventurous than scat. Already gifted with a remarkable five-octave vocal range, Dudziak employs electronic devices to extend still further the possibilities of her voice. She has frequently worked with leading contemporary musicians, including Archie Shepp and Lester Bowie, and was a member of the Vocal Summit group, with Jay Clayton, Jeanne Lee, Bobby McFerrin, Norma Winstone, Sting, Michelle Hendricks, and Lauren Newton. Dudziak has also cooperated and performed with her fellow Polish female jazz vocalist Grażyna Auguścik.
On 11 November 2009 Dudziak was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta by President Lech Kaczyński.
Dudziak and Michał Urbaniak are divorced, together they have two daughters: pop singer Mika (Michelle, born 1980) and sculptor Kasia. After the divorce she was in a relationship with Jerzy Kosiński for four years. In 1993 she married Swedish captain Benght Dahllof. Dudziak owns apartments in Manhattan, Sweden and Warsaw. Her brother Leszek was jazz drummer known for his work with Krzysztof Komeda.
On 8 March 2011 she released her autobiography called Wyśpiewam wam wszystko (I'll sing everything for you).
- Urbaniak's Orchestra (1968)
- Newborn Light (1972)
- Paratyphus B (1973)
- Super Constellation (1973)
- Atma (1974)
- Inactin (1975)
- Journey – Arif Mardin (Atlantic, 1974)
- Urszula (1976)
- Midnight Rain (1977)
- Urbaniak (1977)
- Future Talk (1979)
- Magic Lady (1980)
- Ulla (1982)
- Sorrow Is Not Forever...But Love Is (1983)
- High Horse (1984)
- Magic Lady concert from Walk Away (1989)
- Jazz Unlimited (1993)
- Journey, Saturation (1994)
- And Life Goes On (2002)
- Painted Bird (2003)
- Forever Green (2008)
- Urszula Dudziak Superband - Live at Jazz Cafe (2009)
- 1980 – Papaya, czyli Skąd się biorą dziewczynki – main role, music
- 1982 – Percussion Summit – minor role
- 1983 – Vocal Summit – minor role
- 1995 – Malowany chłopiec – music
- 1985 – Urszula Dudziak – waga – main role
- 2000 – Ponad tęczą – music
- 2001 – Eden – music performance (vocal)
- 2002 – Zielona karta – music, song performances
- 2005 – Panna młoda – music
- 2007 – Wiersz na Manhattanie – main role
- 2007 – Niania – herself
- 2008 – Urszula Dudziak: Życie jest piękne – document about her
- 2011 – Bitwa na głosy – as team leader
In 2007, Dudziak's classic 1970s song "Papaya" saw a resurgence in popularity in the Philippines where it was regularly featured in a local noontime TV game show Pilipinas, Game KNB?. A favorite track for Filipino drag queens as lip-synch material in the '70s gay disco/bar scene, the song then saw a revival when a TV host danced to the tune, helping to spread the popularity of the song to Latin America and the US. The dance has then been featured in several news programs, including MSNBC, and Reuters. On 21 March 2008, the dance was featured on ABC's Good Morning America, where the hosts also danced to the song. Before the breakthrough of papaya dance in 2007, the song Papaya became a success in Brazil in 1970s as the opening theme of the original version telenovela Anjo Mau, produced by TV Globo in 1976.