Tragic death of reggae star rocks Czech music world

11-06-2003

The world of Czech music resounded with a sad note on Monday. That's when it lost a legend as YoYo Band singer and pianist Vladimir Tesarik died at the age of 55 in a Prague hospital. He had suffered head injuries from a recent cycling accident in the capital city. Along with his band he brought reggae music into the limelight in former Czechoslovakia and went on to receive great acclaim in the Czech Republic.

Vladimir Tesarik, Photo: CTKVladimir Tesarik, Photo: CTK The tragic death of Vladimir Tesarik marks the end of an era in Czechoslovak musical history. He and his brother Richard began singing together as teenagers, and both established their YoYo Band back in the mid 1970s. The brothers were the only two to stay with the group from its conception. While mostly known for reggae, the YoYo Band later interspersed other ethnic kinds of music into its original songs. With Vladimir Tesarik the band made nearly ten albums. Perhaps they achieved their greatest success in the 1990s when the song Karvina hit the top of the charts. The group has nabbed many awards, including three Czech Grammies. The YoYo Band also has made many music videos and even has performed on a television series. In recent years both brothers appeared in popular Czech musicals as well. In Hamlet Vladimir Tesarik and his brother played gravediggers.

However, Vladimir Tesarik's talents reached beyond music. Also dedicated to athletics, he captured the title of Czechoslovak champion in high jumping near the end of the 1960s.

What does the future hold for the YoYo Band? The musicians will continue to perform, although they won't replace their deceased colleague. The group plans to hold all scheduled concerts, including those slated for the upcoming weeks.

Vladimir Tesarik leaves behind a wife and two twin sons. He also leaves behind a musical legacy.

11-06-2003