Singer Marta Topferova & bassist Tomas Liska, two cosmopolitan and visionary artists, have both had illustrious careers involving a broad spectrum of music. "Milokraj" (meaning "beloved land" in Czech), was born out of a deep yearning to explore the music of their roots. Within a short time, Topferova and Liška's dynamic collaboration gave birth to stunning original songs, drawing from Czech and Moravian folklore, as well as other Slavic influences. In addition to Marta's spirited vocals and Tomas' acoustic bass, the ensemble features an all-star line up: Moldavian cimbalom player Marcel Comendant, Slovak violinist Stano Palúch, and Czech guitarist David Dorůžka.
Topferova and Liška's idea is to capture the spirit and depth of their tradition, yet to bring a fresh approach to the arrangements and interpretation, letting each musicians' creativity inform the sound. Since Topferova and Liška are both compelling members of today's international music scene, “Milokraj” promises to be a valuable contribution not only to contemporary Czech music, but to music lovers all over the world.
Marta Töpferová - vocals & cuatro Tomáš Liška - acoustic bass & vocals Marcel Comendant - cimbalom & vocals Stano Palúch - violin & vocals David Dorůžka - acoustic & electric guitar & vocals
Tomáš chose for his trio two world-famous colleagues: Italian Daniele DiBonaventura plays the bandoneon, acoustic guitar is mastered by Czech virtuoso David Dorůžka. The pieces were composed with the thoughts on a very specific sound of a trio with an acoustic guitar and a bandoneon. The compositions are balancing on the edge of improvisation, jazz and classic. This creates a very original sound, unprecedented on Czech music scene and genuinely unusual for the international scenes. The trio’s repertoire stems from its debut album, which is to be published this fall (2009) by the biggest Czech jazz label Animal Music (www.animalmusic.cz), under which the very best performers of Czech jazz scene publish their original works.
Tomáš Liška - acoustic bass David Dorůžka - acoustic guitar Daniele DiBonaventura (IT) - bandoneon
Marta Töpferova (USA/CZE)
Around age fifteen, Marta started developing as a soloist, exploring her own style and direction as a singer, she was completely drawn to music from Spain, Cuba and South America. Continuing in her musical calling, she first majored in music and dance at Bard College from 1992 to 1993. Afterwards, she moved to Moron de la Frontera, Spain, to study privately and further develop as a musician. She took up playing the guitar, hand percussion and now most recently, her favorite accompanying instrument, the four-string cuatro. After spending two years in Spain and back in the Czech Republic, she settled in New York City in 1996 and since then has been actively composing, arranging and performing her original songs as well as collaborating with other groups including Lucia Pulido and Fiesta De Tambores among others. Her love and dedication to Latin American music as well as the folklore of Czechoslovakia, makes her a unique artist who sings in and is fluent in both Czech and Spanish.
Lenka Dusilová, several times over the winner of the Czech annual Anděl awards, is by no means accustomed to stagnation or repetition of things done before. She has evolved into an outstanding phenomenon of the Czech music scene: from her launching pad as a rock and pop star, she has been progressing to a highly individual expression uninhibitedly absorbing impulses coming from the widest variety of styles as well as extra-musical experiences. The project entitled Eternal Seekers, on which she collaborates closely with Clarinet Factory and with Beata Hlavenková, represents yet another relevant stage of her pursuit.
Her most mature recording so far is the genre-defying album, Mezi světy (2006), featuring Czech and American musicians (including the drummer Scott Amendola, who has played with Madeleine Peyroux and Bill Frisell). In 2007, Lenka made a U.S. tour (during which she also played alongside the icon of modern country music, Emmylou Harris), and back on the Czech scene, she became engaged in an unpublicized process of teaming up with the members of the postjazz outfit, Vertigo Quintet. Shortly before that, she guest-appeared in traditional songs on new tracks recorded by the band Čechomor, and still felt echoes of her previous unconstrained work with the theatre group Continuo, which had tested out her qualities as a singer-songwriter and a spontaneous performer.
With Eternal Seekers she is delivering a surprising yet thoroughly natural synthesis of all these earlier inspirations. This time out, Dusilová turned for texts primarily to Bogdan Trojak, a poet, and winner of the Jiří Orten Prize and the Magnesia Litera annual literary award. Apart from that, the programme also draws – surprisingly for some – on other, fairly disparate sources of inspiration: namely, the poetry of František Halas, plus a song, never recorded, with which then fifteen-year-old Lenka Dusilová embarked on her career with the Prague rock outfit Sluníčko. With Eternal Seekers Lenka Dusilová is bringing a fresh proof of her work’s innermost qualities: boldness, suggestive force, and accessibility.
Lenka Dusilová - vocal, guitars Beata Hlavenková - piano, vocal Clarinet Factory: Jindřich Pavliš, Vojtěch Nýdl, Petr Valášek, Luděk Boura Tomáš Liška - acoustic bass David Landštof - drums, percusions Daniel Šoltis - drums
Founded in 1991; winner of many Czech music awards; extensive tours of the US since 1993; recorded and performed with Peter Rowan, Charlie McCoy, Tony Trischka, Andy Owens, Davy Spillane and others, recorded more than a dozen CDs.
Druha Trava is a wonderfully individual band from the Czech Republic that is hard to describe. They perform new acoustic world music with bluegrass influences. You might hear them perform a bluegrass tune, Bob Dylan tune or one by another American or British artist, or one of their many originals. Though they basically use a typical bluegrass complement of instruments, you might see the banjo player also pick up a clarinet or Irish whistle. This along with the versatility of the dobro player helps create much of their unique sound.
The Bluegrass Association of the Czech Republic declared Druha Trava "Group of the Year" in both 2005 and 2006.
Robert Křesťan - vocal, mandolin Luboš Malina - banjo, irish flutes Luboš Novotný - dobro, lap steel, guitar Emil Formánek - guitar Tomáš Liška - acoustic bass David Landštof - drums, percussion
Skupina vzniká v roce 2011, kdy došlo k setkání čtyř vyjímečných hudebníků na podiu v Praze. Chemie, spontaneita, hudební vkus a estetika zafungovali natolik, že se skupina rozhodla pro další aktivní spolupráci. Vzniká tak snad vůbec první projekt svého druhu mezi tak významnými latiskoamerickými a českými hudebníky! Hudba se pohybuje mezi avantgardním jazzem, free jazzem, hlubokými melodiemi a rytmy, které jsou sevřeny mezi evropskou melancholii a jihoamerický spontální projev.
Hernán Hecht - drums (Argentina) Mark Aanderud - piano (Mexico) Tomáš Liška - acoustic bass (Czech Republic) Marcel Bárta - sax (Czech Republic)
David Dorůžka Trio
David Dorůžka took up the guitar at the age of ten and from the age of fourteen started performing with leading musicians on the Czech jazz scene. In 1995 he received the “Talent of the Year” award from the Czech Jazz Society. He played on award-winning recordings of Karel Růžička Jr. (You Know What I Mean, 1997) and Jaromír Honzák (Earth Life, featuring Jorge Rossy, 1998). From 1999 until 2002 Dorůžka lived in Boston in the USA and studied composition and improvisation at Berklee College of Music. Among his teachers were Joe Lovano, Mick Goodrick and George Garzone. After graduating from Berklee, Dorůžka lived in New York City from 2002 to 2003. In New York he recorded his first CD Hidden Paths, which was awarded the Anděl prize in the Czech music academy awards as CD of the year 2004 in Jazz&Blues category.
David Dorůžka - guitar Tomáš Liška - acustic bass Martin Novák - drums
The band Points came into being in the spring of 2007. Its members are either students or graduates of Jazz College VOŠ JAZZ, which is a special jazz department of Jaroslav Jezek Conservatory in Prague, Czech Republic. Although the quartet consists of fairly young artists, each one of its members has his unique musical character. This makes the Points’ performances very special, and also enthusiastic in the search for its own musical language. The band has already created a special style of communication: it speaks through its own original compositions written by Points’ members, or unique arrangements of jazz standards. These compositions capture attention not only through its density and dynamic, even turbulent changes of moods, but also through its typical sound - which is very much dependent on the types of instruments the band consists of. These are trumpet, saxophone, double bass and drums. An absence of harmonic instrument allows for more interactive communication between the musicians. The band experiments with the sound of the acoustic instruments and wants to achieve a “feel free” expression. Points is a band with strong emotional charge whose music is full of ideas, free of conventions and rules, and independent. Because of its courage and fantasy, the band does not have to copy styles and music from other big jazz names of previous century: Points invents itself independently. Points has been awarded at the 22. year of Standard Jazz Compositions in Polish Siedlce in 2009. The band won a very prestigious international jazz competition at Spanish Getxo, as the first Czech jazz band to do so in the whole Czech jazz history! Points recorded their debut album in the summer of 2009, whig is going to be released in the spring 2010.
Luboš Soukup - sax Miroslav Hloucal - trumpet Tomáš Liška - acustic bass Tomáš Hobzek - drums
The first release of an outstanding Czech bassist Tomáš Liška contains his own compositions as well as one composition by featured guitarist David Dorůžka and one by Italian bandoneonist Daniele di Bonaventura.