Jazz

News

In Veszprém, Hungary, a meeting of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network is currently underway. The main coordinator David Dittrich and the coordinator Jana Padrnosová are attending the meeting on behalf of Brno. The first meeting after a long hiatus caused by the pandemic is attended by delegations from London, Canada, Pesaro in Italy, Llíria in Spain, Mannheim in Germany, Hamamatsu in Japan, and representatives of a dozen other cities.  more

The Cotatcha Orchestra will present the concert Carp on a Rope (Kapr na Provázku) vol. III. The Brno big band continues its free concert series with a Christmas theme at the Husa na provázku Theater this year. This time the Cotatcha Orchestra will be joined by a great talent of the Bulgarian jazz scene, singer Veleka Tsankova. Along with an eclectic mix of American Christmas songs and Czech Baroque carols, this time she will also perform Bulgarian carols.  more

The Brno cultural newsletter brings you an overview of events and opportunities in the coming period concerning theaters, clubs, festivals, and cultural events in Brno.  more

JazzFestBrno has announced the names of the main stars of the next edition. The main announcements of the festival’s headliners will be the singer and pianist Diana Krall, and for the first time ever the iconic string ensemble Kronos Quartet, celebrating 50 years on the scene, will perform at the festival. Other personalities of the 22nd edition of the festival will include guitarist John Scofield, pianist Tigran Hamasyan, and double bassist Dave Holland.  more

The Brno Cultural Newsletter provides an overview of events and opportunities in the coming period concerning theatres, clubs, festivals and cultural events in Brno.  more

The ReConnect conference for music managers, booking agents, representatives of the club scene, and other music professionals, organized by the Music Managers Forum Czech Republic association and the SoundCzech pro-export office, starts tomorrow in Brno.  more

Over two nights, more than sixty concerts by artists from dozens of countries will take place in thirteen clubs in Brno. Clubs such as Alterna, ArtBar Druhý Pád, Fléda, Kabinet múz, Kafara, Metro Music Bar, Music Lab, Ponava, Rusty Nail, Sibiř, Sono Music Club, Stará Pekárna, and Vegalité, united in BACH – Brno Association of Club Music, have joined the first edition of the Batch club night.  more

Singer and musician Lenka Dusilová will perform live for the first time ever with the big band Cotatcha Orchestra. Their joint concert will take place at the Husa na provázku Theater. The nine-time winner of the Anděl Award and the sixteen-member ensemble led by trumpeter Jiří Kotača will present both original novelties written for their joint project and some compositions from their award-winning album Bigbandová elektronikamore

The first year of the international Jewish culture festival ŠTETL FEST 2022 begins on Friday. In its content and scope it will be the biggest Jewish culture festival in the Czech Republic. The festival’s programme will offer lectures, theatre performances, guided tours and several concerts. Some of those performing will be the Avishai Cohen Trio, Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi, Graffe String Quartet or Dominika Weiss Hošková. The festival will close with the Brundibár children’s opera performed by the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra and the Cantilena choir. The motto of the entire event is “Dignity in Diversity”.  more

The Brno Cultural Newsletter provides an overview of events and opportunities in the coming period concerning theatres, clubs, festivals, and cultural events in Brno.  more

Feature articles

“We did it as a session, sitting opposite each other, so that the viewer would have the experience of coming to a rehearsal,” says singer Dan Bárta, describing how his current album, In One Breath (Jedním dechem), was recorded together with the jazz Robert Balzar Trio and Hungarian trumpeter Kornél Fekete-Kovács. The jazziest album in Dan Bárta’s rich discography was released on the Brno label Bivak Records and was recorded in the Brno studio of Czech Television. more

Nikol Bóková, a native of Ostrava, has long been considered a unique talent in the field of classical music. At the age of nine, she played as a solo pianist with the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra, and studying at the conservatory and then at the JAMU was a matter of course. But already during her studies of classical music, another of her talents, that of composition, took shape and gradually manifested itself. Together with her trio (Nikol Bóková-piano, Martin Kocián-contrabass, Michal Wierzgoń-drums), she recorded her debut album Inner Place in 2019 and immediately established herself among the Czech (and indeed European) jazz elite. Two more projects followed during the cover – Unravel (2020) for the same named line-up and last year’s Prometheus, recorded with extraordinary commitment by a remarkable studio line-up. Out of this and several subsequent concerts (among others during JazzFest Brno last autumn) crystallized also the quite logical expansion of her trio with the versatile and empathetic guitarist David Dorůžka, the Nikol Bóková Quartet. This line-up was also the birthplace of the latest album Elements, with which a new creative phase opens for Nikol and her partner and co-creator Jan Vala.  more

Last year’s 100th anniversary of Gustav Brom’s birth still resonates on the domestic jazz scene. At the very end of 2021, a 4-CD set entitled “Gustav Brom – 100 Years” was released, offering a cross-section of the orchestra’s repertoire, from songwriting to jazz to intersections with contemporary classical music. Alongside this, an album charting the Brom Orchestra’s long-standing collaboration with Karel Velebný has also appeared on the same label (Indies Happy Trails). Radio editor, jazz musician, and teacher Jan Dalecký was one of the producers of both albums.  more

Another in a series of themed “anniversary” orchestral concepts by Jiří Kotača for his big band, this one commemorates the centenary of the birth of Canadian-American jazz pianist, composer, bandleader, and above all, genius arranger Gil Evans and his successful collaboration with legendary trumpeter Miles Davis in the late 1950s.  more

Brno musicians are talented in various genres, and they’re generally long-lived and vital individuals. This was resoundingly clear during the jubilee celebration of Mojmír Bártek, a teacher, composer, arranger, and above all a virtuoso trombone player. The jubilee concert, dubbed Mojda Bártek 80, was prepared by his friends under the direction of B-Side Band trumpeter and bandleader Josef Buchta. Despite the birthday boy’s open and (sometimes emotional) enjoyment of the two and a half hour program, he still remained an active participant of the entire musical production except for brief moments of rest. He performed as the author of many compositions, but above all as a player, trombone in hand and fully committed.  more

One of the few positives of the otherwise tormented musical year 2020 is the unusually rich Czech jazz harvest: sixty (!) albums and projects either purely jazz or significantly affected by jazz were released last year. Many of the most highly acclaimed ones are connected to Brno in various ways – for example, the debut Bigbandová elektronika (Bigband Electronica) by the increasingly prominent Cotatcha Orchestra and the ensemble’s second album Dust in the Groove, testing the boundaries of classical music and jazz through refined improvisation.  more

Anyone who knows the B-Side Band, especially through performing international hit songs with the singer Vojtěch Dyk, or last year’s album Folk Swing, may be surprised by their unique take on a production of Jaromír Hnilička’s Missa Jazz. In fact, the big band’s history is tightly interwoven with the composer’s legendary Jazz Massmore

“It’s absolutely perfect, I play it all the time and it plays in my head all the time,” commented Matěj H., a music studies graduate and Brno politician. In another Facebook debate, a musical editor with a pen name of Max B. depicts it to be “totally horrible stuff.” Few domestic albums recorded in 2020 received such varied responses as Folk Swings, a collection of what were initially contemporary folk songs, re-arranged to become big-band pieces and performed by B-Side Band with Josef Buchta as the bandmaster.  more

The album Folk Swings of the Brno-based B-Side Band is being vividly discussed on social networks. Can a big band take the liberty of to playing the "sacred" songs of Czech folk? And what if these compositions are sung along with the band directly by their authors such as Jaromír Nohavica, Vlasta Redl or Slávek Janoušek? However, while the above might have been able to have their say concerning the arrangements, Karel Kryl, Zuzana Navarová or Wabi Ryvola could no longer make any comments regarding the makeovers of their songs… We talked to Petr Kovařík and Pavel Zlámal, members of the orchestra, about how the album was created, why Ryvola's song 'Tereza' sounds like a Cuban dance, and why 'Podvod' ('Scam') by Honza Nedvěd is played only as an instrumental piece. The two guys have actually created new arrangements for widely famed as well as less well-known folk songs, which now appear on this album.  more

To write a guide to music in Brno in the past and present means digging deep into one’s own recollections and those of others as well as into sources with varying degrees of reliability, and as far as possible not believing anything automatically but always asking “Did this really happen just like that?” And in doing so, to be very, very suspicious of one’s own memory. Two basic questions that cropped up in connection with almost every sentence were “What is it about this band or that event that makes them special? Would someone who’s never been to Brno and has no ties with the city find it interesting?”  more


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Upcoming events

Rusty Nail

27/01/23, 20:00

JFB 2023: Lionel Loueke & Friends

31/01/23, 19:30 / Cabaret des Péchés

Simon & Garfunkers

01/02/23, 20:30 / Metro Music Bar

SPYDER & Frank - Rock, Pop, R&B, Blues, Originals

02/02/23, 20:00 / Jazz bar U kouřícího králíka


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