The 52nd Kmoch’s Kolín festival of brass band music has got underway in the Central Bohemian town. Over 40 brass groups are taking part in the weekend-long event, including ensembles from Italy, Germany, Hungary and Latvia. Running since the early 1960s, the festival is named in honour of the great locally born band leader and composer František Kmoch (1848–1912).
“Texas-Czech, Bohemian-Moravian Bands: Historic Recordings, 1929-1959” is a wonderful compilation featuring groups such as the Joe Patek Orchestra, Bacova’s Ceska Kapela and Adolph Pavlas and His Bohemians. One of Tom Waits’s favourite 20 LPs, the album offers a fascinating take on the dechovka (brass band) music that the Lone Star State’s huge Czech community brought with them from the old country.
Surrounded by railway sidings and industrial estates, it's easy to get the impression that Kolín is simply a town travellers pass through on the way from the Czech capital to the nearby tourist-friendly Kutná Hora. Nevertheless, anyone who gets off the train in Kolín and takes the trouble to walk the short distance past the factories and business parks to the city centre will find that it is a place worth visiting.
The 47th Kmochův Kolín international festival of “dechovka” or brass band music has got underway in the central Bohemian town of Kolín. The Czech president, Václav Klaus, officially opened the three-day festival. Organisers said their aim this year was to attract more young people by placing a greater emphasis on contemporary music than in previous years. The festival is named after 19th century brass band composer and conductor František Kmoch, who was from the town.
Surrounded by railway sidings and industrial estates, it's easy to get the impression that Kolin is simply a town travellers pass through on the way from the Czech capital to the nearby tourist-friendly Kutna Hora. Nevertheless, anyone who gets off the train in Kolin and takes the trouble to walk the short distance past the factories and business parks to the city centre will find that it is a place worth visiting.
It's 10am in the south Bohemian town of Ceske Budejovice. Just like on any other day, Czech Radio's local station starts its daily show Pisnicky pro radost, "Songs to lift your spirit", knowing its listenership is about to shoot up and stay up for the three hours in which one brass music song after the next is dedicated to locals.
I don't know how Czech folk music makes you feel but it certainly gives me goose bumps...not because I don't like it but on the contrary, I LOVE it. A few nights ago, a friend, who's a tour manager here in Prague took me to a folklore night on the outskirts of the city that's held just for tourists and I was taken back in time to when I was a little girl and spent New Year's Eve at my grandmother's.