Jazz festival hits 35 years
Reduta will have jazz musicians from four continents
Posted: October 9, 2013
Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt will appear at the 35th annual International Jazz Festival in Reduta.
Reduta Jazz Club will welcome a wide array of talent to the 35th annual International Jazz Festival in Prague. This year it is truly international, with musicians from as far away as Bali and South Africa.
One of the headliners is bassist Boris Kozlov, who along with his other projects is director of the Mingus Big Band. Kozlov has been on the jazz scene for at least two decades, playing on the Grammy-winning album Simpatico, a Grammy-winning album, as well as nine Grammy-nominated albums. He will appear with trumpeter Alex Sipiagin and his band.
Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt will also make an appearance at the festival. Pelt has been voted a rising star on the trumpet five years in a row by Downbeat magazine and the Jazz Journalist Association. Also associated with the Mingus Big Band, Pelt has had the chance to collaborate with some great talents ranging from Nancy Wilson to Bobby Short to the Skatalites.
There is more than jazz at the festival. Otis Grand was born in Lebanon and raised in the US, he has been active on the British blues scene since the 1980s and voted the best UK blues guitarist for seven years in a row by Blues Connection magazine.
When: Oct. 16-Nov. 7
Where: Reduta Jazz Club, Národní 20
While jazz is considered to be particularly American and European, it is an art form anyone can play. Multitalented South African saxophonist Rus Nerwich first toured Europe in 2008 and has come back every year to collaborate with European musicians. He is also working on a children's book and doing some acting.
As the name suggests, the East West Jazz Orchestra has members from across the globe. Vocalist Dian Pratiwi hails from Bali, while other members come from Russia, Germany, Serbia, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Reduta, which opened in 1957, has always been dedicated to providing a place for people to enjoy jazz, even when it was not so easy. During the communist era, jazz was still allowed but this style of music was very closely monitored.
Rosťa Novák, the marketing and public relations manager for the Reduta Jazz Club, remembers how much people enjoyed the club. "Reduta was a little oasis of people who didn't agree with the regime," he said. An example he gave was Václav Havel, who was among visitors that found solace in Reduta.
After the Velvet Revolution, Reduta continued as a jazz club. One highlight in its history is that in 1994, Havel and then-US President Bill Clinton had a jam session on stage.
There are many jazz clubs in Prague now, but Novák says Reduta still offers something unique. "Our guests can feel a very specific atmosphere which is thanks to the unique space of the club and the very small distance between the artist and audience," he said.
Jenna Moller can be reached at