Folk & Country

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After two years the Symposium: Art | Music | Management is returning to Brno’s JAMU (Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts). Three days in April will be given over to debate, new ideas and exchanging of contacts between professionals, teachers and students. The 7th Symposium promises more than thirty lecturers from four countries and an accompanying programme. This time the symposium focuses on the education of artistic, and primarily music managers.  more

The observatory at Kraví hora will welcome the Brno music group Nevermore & Kosmonaut. As part of the concert, there will be songs from their latest album Bleděmodré město [Pale Blue City], which won this year's nomination for the Anděl Awards. The evening will be accompanied by video projection on the entire planetarium dome and an exhibition of photographs by David Konečný.  more

The  Tomáš Kočko & ORCHESTRA band released their first album twenty years ago, and now produced its remake. At that time, the band debuted with a song named  Horní chlapci [Boys from the Upper End], which referred to the Moravian Wallachian poet Ladislav Nezdařil. The re-recorded album will be launched in the Stará Pekárna music club in Brno.  more

The Brno rock musician Oldřich Veselý died in the January of last year. This year’s tenth Beatfest has the subtitle Memories of Olda Veselý. There will be appearances from Roman Dragoun & His Angels, Miloš Makovský & Neopak, Lešek Semelka & SLS, Synkopy 61, Folk Team and others.  more

The band Poletíme? (“Will we fly?”) has published its new album Chce to hit!(“It needs a hit!”), which it will be presenting as part of the concert series Chce to Tour (“It needs a Tour!”). The Brno christening of the album will take place twice in the Fléda club.  more

Thom Artway will be christening his second original album All I Know in Kabinet Múz. Vera Jonas Music will be a guest in a concert.  more

This one-day festival on the banks of the Svitava offers in its programme concerts, theatre for children and adults, waterborne fun and a charity plastic duck race. Among the bands performing will be Vidiek, Křupky, Tokamak, NaMars! and Kuležák.  more

The international festival Folk Holidays in Náměšť nad Oslavou is approaching. This year the festival is entering its 33rd year with names like John Smith, Jan Hrubý, Jitka Šuranská & Petr Uvira, as well as Ondřej Havelka and his Melody Makers.  more

During the months of June and July the multi-genre festival Vaňkovka Fest offers musical and theatre performances, yoga exercises and talks on travel. Among those appearing will be Monkey Business, Tata Bojs, Visací zámek, Mydy Rabycad, Mucha and many more.  more

The last but one weekend in June will once more belong to the festival in Brno’s Kamenná kolonie. Over the three days on the festival meadow the Vilém Spilka Quartet, Swing Pigs, Candish, Miserable Ones and Cirkus Legrando will be appearing.  more

Feature articles

Bára Zmeková is releasing her new album called LUNAVES these days. She will officially present it in Brno as well. The launch of the album will take place in the Kabinet múz on Tuesday 19 March. more

"In the past, old people used to be as old as we allegedly are today" sings Slávek Janoušek in his song Alzheimer and Parkinson. The songwriter, who celebrated his 65th birthday last September, found aging as an extremely powerful theme for his new album. Tohle je vzkaz [This Is a Message] is an album not only about incrementing years of age, but also about how we increasingly appreciate our families and our  roots as we “grow old“. Although we can find very strong moments in all Janoušek's albums, Tohle je vzkaz can be perceived as the third part of the trilogy of his most powerful recordings – Kdo  to zavinil [Whose Fault  Is It] (1988), Tancuj a zpívej [Dance and Sing] (1997) and Tohle je vzkaz [This Is a Message] (2018).  more

The Slovak group Kiero Grande, two Polish bands and the Brno musician Jan Fic with his solo project progressed from the competition Blues Aperitiv to the international festival Blues Alive in Šumperk. Jan, or Honza as he is informally called, who under the label Red Bird Instruments makes cigar box guitars and other instruments, is otherwise known as the frontman of The Weathermakers, playing their raw blues even at Porta. And in several festivals he appeared as leader of the mock country group The Honzíci. The interview that follows took place on the occasion of the release of the solo album Město (City), which Jan Fic together with the producer Martin Kyšperský officially presented on 17 December in Brno’s Stereo – Vinyl Culture Shop.  more

This week in Prague and Brno the English singer Chris Norman, founding and long-time member of the popular band Smokie, will be performing. His concert in the Brno DRFG Arena will be on Saturday 6 October and he will perform at the Prague Forum Karlín two days earlier.  more

“I play contemporary folk, without other adjectives – raging and gentle, with and without humour,” says singer-songwriter Šimon Peták of himself. He was born at the very beginning of the nineties, “a year after the old times ended” as he puts it. He comes from South Bohemia, but grew up by the Berounka, lived a short time in Prague, which apparently turned sour for him, and finally settled in Brno. “I became a dramaturge here, trained as a chimney sweep,” he continues in his verse biography, which you can find in his profile on the server Bandzone.cz. It is there that you can also not just listen to but also legally download for free Šimon’s songs from the album Homo Habitusmore

It is a pity to only read an interview with Marta Kovářová, leader of the groups Budoár staré dámy. Marta is such a personality as a speaker that it is better to hear her. Or also to watch her. But on the other hand, as you will learn from the interview, which took place on the occasion of the 20th birthday of the group, a good song should be able to stand up without a pictorial accompaniment. And perhaps a good narrative will still interest us in written form.  more

From 30 August to 10 September the blues guitarist from Texas Jonn Del Toro Richardson will be touring the Czech Republic. One of his performances will take place in South Moravia – 2 September in the Strážničan House of Culture in Strážnice. Further concerts will take place for example on 30 August in Valašské Meziříčí, and 7 and 10 September in Ostrava. Jonn Del Toro Richardson has so far released only one solo album (a second is in preparation for 2019), but as a much sought after studio and concert guitarist he has worked with many of the top blues performers.  more

On Monday 30 July the guest of Folk Holidays in Náměšť nad Oslavou will be the English singer-songwriter John Smith. The organisers speak of him as a “hidden treasure of exquisite folk singing” and emphasise his album from last year Headlong with its personal confessions to his wife Joanne. We spoke with Smith, who his guitar idol and model John Renbourn called “the future of folk”, by telephone.  more

The group D.N.A. Brno, winners of the final of Porta in 2011, after a gap of four years have brought out a new album. Alongside a new surname for the bass guitarist (but it is still the same Barbora who years ago cofounded the then children’s and girls’ group) there was an important change in the line-up. Ondra Bojanovský (son of Aleš Bojanovský of FT Prima) has become a new member, playing rhythmic instruments. This has made it possible for the former percussionist Lenka Ručková to move over to the piano. Otherwise they remain as they were: D.N.A. is a group of young people, mostly classically trained, who like folk as well as classical. On the musical side they play it masterfully – there can be no objections to their skill, which is made evident in individual songs. The actual repertoire already on the last album has grown up from the childhood years and the innovation is of course, in this respect, a bit more mature. The band has not surprised us with any a sudden shift. But the result is a bit more mature and confident. And what has also been added are serious but at the same time credible themes.  more

After a gap of three years Rózinky (which could be translated as Raisins) from the South Moravian village of Kozojídky have recorded their second album. The girls attend elementary art school together and their teacher Kateřina Mičková, who put the group together, still writes songs for them. The girls also perform together on radio and television shows and have played at various festivals from Folk Holidays in Náměšť nad Oslavou to TrutnOff. The question of whether the group will still be viable once its members grow up and mature (and probably have other musical interests and tastes) still hangs in the air. A little doubt already hangs over the disc Cvrkot (which could be translated as Chirp), but not as a threat but rather as a reason for the greater diversity on the album.  more


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Listening Guide: Leoš Janáček's Sinfonietta
with Jakub Hrůša
  more