Prague is hosting a major traditional culture fest this week - the Prague Folklore Days. Around 50 amateur folklore ensembles from Europe, Asia and Africa have gathered in the Czech capital to show off their musical and dancing skills to the public in various parts of the city. The event launched on Thursday and will continue until Saturday evening.
Our Easter Sunday music show is dedicated to an album called Studánko Rubínko or Ruby Well by the band Hradišťan, one of the country’s most respected performers of folk music. The album, intended for children and their parents, includes songs, nursery rhymes, poems and carols, connected with spring time and Easter.
Long before the term world music became widely used the brother-and sister duo Petr and Hana Ulrychovi played Moravian folk songs with electric guitars. Later, in search of a more authentic sound, they introduced acoustic instruments as well. The band Javory, which they established 45 years ago, is still going strong largely because of their ability to merge different genres and present Moravian folk songs in a different light, making them attractive to a younger audience. This year Hana and Petr are celebrating 55 years on stage and more than 30
Renowned Czech musician Iva Bittová turns 60 on July 22nd. An excellent singer, violinist and composer, Bittová has never focused on one particular genre. She plays and sings folk music, jazz, rock as well as opera. She has also starred in several Czech films and appeared on stage at home and abroad.
The US duo Dálava, consisting of vocalist Julia Úlehla and guitarist Aram Bajakian, explores traditional Moravian folk songs collected by Úlehla’s great-grandfather, blending them with more contemporary, indie-rock sound. We are going to listen to their second album, called the Book of Transfigurations, which was released in April 2017.
Czech folk legend Jarmila Šuláková, who died this week at the age of 87, brought Moravian folk music to audiences around the world. The „queen of folk“ sang from the heart as she liked to say and she had the same esprit at 30 as she did at 80, singing both with traditional folk ensembles as well as the folk-rock group Fleret which opened the world of folk music to younger audiences. In the course of a career spanning more than six decades she recorded over a dozen albums and performed thousands of concerts at home and abroad.
The great Moravian folk singer Jarmila Šuláková has died at the age of 87. Šuláková, who was born and passed away in Vsetín, performed with a number of folk groups over a long career. She sang with the Brno Radio Orchestra of Folk Instruments from 1952 to 1993, travelling throughout Czechoslovakia and to many corners of the world with the ensemble in full Wallachian folk costume.
Music is an essential part of the unique Christmas atmosphere. Along with the scent of frankincense and spices, fried carp on the Christmas Eve table, the candles, baubles and mistletoe – traditional music is what makes Czech Christmas complete. Besides Advent and Christmas church music, including the “Czech Christmas Mass” by Jakub Jan Ryba, the local Christmas musical heritage also abounds in folk songs and carols.
Czech composer and populariser of folk music Pavel Jurkovič has died at the age of 81. Jurkovič was mainly known for his series on Czech Television ‘Zpívánky‘ which introduced children to folk music. Music was a tradition in Jurkovič‘s family and at the age of 12 he was sent to a renowned singing school in Prague. He was a recognised authority on medieval, baroque, and renaissance music and a prolific author on the subject.