The spring part of the festival in the Stará Pekárna club will begin this evening with the concert of English singer Elles Bailey, accompanied by the Czech band The Bladderstones. The festival promises 27 jazz and blues concerts with an international representation. We will get to see for example the Mike Ross Blues Band, Marek Kotača Trio, Tom Smith Quartet and the Vilém Spilka Quartet.
The international jazz festival JazzFestBrno published its complete programme today. It promises fifteen musical evenings, where we will get to hear great names including the bassist Stanley Clarke, trumpet player Theo Croker, Avishai Cohen and Peter Evans, guitarist Julian Lage and South African singer Melanie Scholtz. This year, the festival will pay homage to the legends of the Czech Contraband stage Milan Svoboda and Luboš Andršt, whose Blues Band will be joined by the singer Peter Lipa. The list will also include big names of contemporary Czech jazz such as bassist Jaromír Honzák, trumpet player Štěpánka Balcarová and Michal Nejtek.
The principal conductor of Brno Philharmonic Dennis Russell Davies is recognised around the world both as a conductor and as a pianist. And it will be in the latter role that he will perform to a Brno audience for the first time on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The concert on Wednesday will be broadcast live by Czech Radio Vltava and taken up by radio stations in the Euroradio network (EBU). It will include Bagatelles by Antonín Dvořák, Mozart’s Piano Concerto in C Minor and the Symphony in D Major by Jan Václav Hugo Voříšek.
The album of Moravian and Silesian carols under the name Písně vánočního času (“Songs of Christmas-time”) was recorded by the group Lilium Liste. When choosing the songs, they focused on lesser known carols. The recording is an authentic interpretation of the musical legacy of the folk tradition without extensive arrangements.
The international festival that gives space for a new generation of percussionists from both Czech and foreign conservatories and academies is entering its fifth year. During these three days, the best students of chosen classes will be performing. The programme is completed by concerts, workshops of foreign lecturers and a sales show of percussion instruments. The big events this year are the percussion workshops.
The Brno group Hrozně slowly approach forty years of age – they started to give concerts in 1982. After several cassettes and unofficial recordings, they released a CD with their debut album Už není čas [There Is No Time Left] in 2013. Their new album named Ticho [Silence], which the band was working on over the last two years in the Indies studio, brings a surprise with its cleaner sound and clearly audible tension in the structure of the songs.
Over the four years that divide the release of the first album Záhir, and the second one entitled O Písni [About the Song], Lee Band virtually moved on (previously they stated Adamov as their domicile, now it is Jedovnice), they got on a "wild card" to the Porta festival semifinals in Řevnice, and above all, they advanced slightly in their musical style. While the debut album was more about a folk-rock mainstream, benefiting from the sound of an electric guitar, the new album is dominated by acoustic guitars, often in combination with mandolin and other acoustic instruments.
This year’s eighteenth JazzFest Brno will exceptionally not close with a concert, but rather a unique (though not unusual for world festivals) series of musical and dance workshops, centred on children. On Saturday 4 May, in the pleasant environment of Café Práh, near Vaňkovka, the children students will be taken on board by the significant young personalities of the jazz scene: Beata Hlavenková (pianist and composition lecturer), Dano Šoltis (leader of the drum class) and the multi-instrumentalists Jiří Slavík and Marian Friedl (conductors of Wandering on Jazz Paths), who will be accompanied by Kateřina Hanzlíková with the Tancohraní lectures. With the exception of composition, where it is necessary for the participants to be older than twelve, all the other “classes” are open to everyone, including the youngest. We asked the co-author of the idea of the children’s workshop and director of JazzFest Brno, Vilém Spilka, for further information.
The musical Nine, based on the legendary film 8½ by director Frederico Fellini, was prepared under director Stanislav Moša as the penultimate premiere of the season at the Brno City Theatre. They prepared an at places almost erotic show, led by interesting scenography, well-made costumes, brilliant musical preparation and the energy of the female acting. The sensuality of some of the dance parts thankfully did not overshadow the central theme of the hero’s crises: mid-life, art and relationship.