She was one of the biggest stars on the Czechoslovak music scene during the 1960s and 1970s. Known for her three and a half octave soprano voice and down to earth character, Eva Pilarova remained a popular personality and singer until the day she died, aged 80, on March 14, 2020. With the ongoing coronavirus epidemic a public goodbye with the her has not been possible. However, that does not prevent us from playing Mrs Pilarová's greatest hits.
Jazz is alive and well in the Czech lands. A total of 46 records in the genre were released here in 2019, even more than in the previous year. Spoilt for choice, our public radio sister station Český rozhlas Jazz has managed to pick one as album of the year: “Čekání na Toma” (or Waiting for Tom) by the Vilém Spilka Quartet.
Eva Pilarová, one of the most acclaimed Czech singers of the second half of the twentieth century, has died at the age of 80. Famous for her swing and jazz songs, as well as her humble nature and endless positivity, Pilarová won four Golden Nightingale awards and continued releasing albums late into her life.
Czech Christmas wouldn’t be complete without traditional Christmas carols. To mark the occasion, we’ll be listening to an album entitled Christmas for Grown-Ups or Vánoce dospělých. The album was recorded by the Concept Art Orchestra, a leading Czech jazz band, and offers a slightly different take on the traditional seasonal repertoire.
At the turn of the millennium, the group ‘minus123minut’ was among the most innovative and important of Czech bands, known for their live shows and heady mix of rock, jazz, blues and funk. The band was named Discovery of the Year in 1999, cut a few LPs, toured Europe, and then broke up in 2009 after the release of their album ‘Dream’. A few years ago, original singer-guitarist Zdeněk Bína and lyricist-bassist Fredrik Janáček reformed the band, along with Slovak drummer and vibraphone player Dano Šoltis. Today’s show features their newly released
This week marks 60 years since the foundation of the legendary Semafor theatre in Prague, established by the song-writing duo Jiří Suchý and Jiří Šlitr. The theatre, which saw its heyday in the 1960s, produced some of the biggest Czech pop hits ever and helped to launch the careers of many Czech singers and actors, including Waldemar Matuška, Eva Pilarová and Karel Gott.
Band leader Ondřej Havelka, with a look straight out of Jeeves and Wooster, has just reached the age of 65. The singer, actor (he has appeared in several movies), theatre, opera and music video director and tap dancer is the most recognizable proponent of interwar jazz in the Czech Republic and has a repertoire jammed with both domestic and English-language classics. He started out in the mid-1970s with the Original Prague Syncopated Orchestra before in 1995 launching a new group, Ondřej Havelka and his Melody Makers, with whom he continues to regularly
One of the Czech Republic’s most-highly respected film festivals – the
Summer Film School in Uherské Hradiště – wraps up on Saturday with the
screening of a documentary film by Olga Sommerová about the Czech singer
songwriter Jiří Suchý, founder of the legendary Semafor theatre.
The 45th edition of the festival featured over 200 films, as well as concerts, debates, shows and debates. Among the notable guests this year were Czech director Hynek Bočan, Polish filmmakers Lech Majewski and Wojciech Smarzowski, and the Slovak actor Milan Lasica.
One of the most accomplished Czech Jazz guitarists, Rudy Linka, first gained fame abroad after moving to Sweden in 1980 and later learning from jazz titans such as John Scofield and John Abercrombie in the USA. Today he lives mainly in New York, but has also become a popular music personality in his native Czech Republic, founding one of Europe’s biggest summer jazz festivals and hosting his own shows on Czech Television and Radio. We caught up with him in Prague, while he was preparing this year’s Bohemia Jazz Festival.