Tunes of Matěj Benko Band in India
17.10.2012 / 16:47
Czech Jazz conquered Indian hearts! Czech Jazz Band Matěj Benko Quintet conducted several concerts in Mumbai and Delhi under the umbrella of the Jazz Utsav and Delhi International Arts Festival.
Matej Benko (piano), renowned composer and modern jazz pianist, leader of several jazz formations based in Prague, has been presenting with his Quintet and Trio band a distinct style of music varying from jazz, blues and swing at numerous jazz clubs throughout the Czech Republic for more than 10 years.
Matej Benko grew up in the family of musicians and at the age of 17 discovered the world of jazz music; he studied music composition at the Jaroslav Jezek Conservatory in Prague and in 2002 started to work with the Vit Svec Trio (album „Keporkak“, Arta, 2004) and was also member of the „No Borders” Band. Matej Benko entered the professional jazz world with its debut album „Universality“ (Arta 2006), followed by albums „Time Against Us“ (Arta 2008) and „Live at the Prague Castle“ (Multisonic, 2010). Matej Benko is a sought-after pianist by famous jazz singers; he plays with Yvonne Sanchez, Miriam Bayle (CD Miriam Bayle, Animal Music 2010) and leads his own Quintet and Trio formations. Benko also collaborates with famous Czech lyricist Michal Horáček in his theatre-staged projects, teaches at Jaroslav Jezek Conservatory in Prague and composes. Benko´s very distinctive writing style leads the music away from the predictable forms and clichés; he combines strong melodies of various styles with rich harmony and rhythmically varied long themes. Matej Benko invited into his Quintet formation leading figures of the Czech Jazz scene, Radek Zapadlo (saxophone), Miroslav Hloucal (trumpet), Pavel Zboril (drums), Rastislav Uhrik (bass).
More Information on the remaining Quintet members:
Radek Zapadlo (saxophone) graduated from Jaroslav Jezek Conservatory in Prague (2000), has been playing with well-known Czech jazz musicians Jan Knop, Jaromir Honzak, Karel Ruzicka, Petr Zelenka, Robert Balzar, Stanislav Macha and others from 1999. Currently, he studies jazz interpretation at Janacek Academy of Arts in Brno. Radek Zapadlo has been a member of Matej Benko Quintet from 2007 and performs as sideman with various jazz bands, e.g. “Two Generation Trio”, “Miriam Bayle Band”, “Mulligang”, “Jan Pribil Quintet”.
Pavel Zboril (drums) graduated from the State Conservatory in Pilsen, specialization drums, and has played with numerous renowned Czech Jazz musicians (Emil Viklicky, Karel Ruzicka, David Doruzka, Jaromir Honzak, Robert Balzar, Frantisek Kop, Stepan Markovic, Najponk, Roman Pokorny). Pavel Zboril has also collaborated with musicians at the international Jazz scene, e.g. Piotr Baron (PL), Christian Rover (DE), Benny Bailey (NL), George Mraz (US), Benny Golson (US), James Morison (GB), Hank Jones (US), Roy Hargrove (US), Dee Dee Bridgewater (US). Currently he is the member of Matej Benko Quintet, Frantisek Kop Quartet, J.A.R., and collaborates with famous Czech singer Lucie Bila.
Rastislav Uhrik (bass) began to play bass guitar at the age of 16, studied double bass at Jaroslav Jezek Conservatory in Prague and at the Jazz Department of Akademia Muzyczna K.Szymanowskiego in Katowice in Poland. He finished his Bc. studies in 2009. Rastislav Uhrik is the member of Vertigo Quintet, Lanugo, Matej Benko Quintet, Yvonne Sanchez band, Bucinatores Orchestra, Beata Hlavenkova Trio and others. He has collaborated with Rich Perry, Ingrid Jensen, Steve Walsh, David Doruzka and is also today a double bass teacher at the newly opened jazz department at Janacek Music Academy in Brno.
Miroslav Hloucal (trumpet) has gained the reputation for being one of the best trumpeters in the Czech Republic. With his lyrical playing at the highest technical level he has been the member of several bands, e.g. Lanugo, Infinite Quartet, Punkte and Bucinatores, collaborated with musicians abroad, e.g. Doug Wimbish (USA), Hiram Bullock (USA). Besides performing within the Matej Benko Quintet, he is also leading its own formation “Miroslav Hloucal Quartet”, which is committed to fusion, funk and contemporary jazz. Miroslav Hloucal studied also at the famous Jaroslav Jezek Conservatory in Prague.