Česká centra, Czech Centres

Česká centra / Czech centres - logo

Press Releases

Concert: Karel Růžička Quartet presents Grace & Gratitude

Karel Růžička’s new release is Grace & Gratitude, an album nominated for the Angel Award 2019 by the Czech Academy of Popular Music in the category The Best Jazz & Blues Album.

Award-winning saxophonist, composer and producer KAREL RŮŽIČKA will be performing with acclaimed musicians Jon Cowherd (piano), James Genus (bass) and E.J. Strickland (drums) the music from his latest release Grace & Gratitude for the first time in New York. Grace & Gratitude comprises exclusively Růžička's own compositions and brings us jazz of the highest quality in first-class performance. Grace & Gratitude is nominated for the Angel Award 2019 by the Czech Academy of Popular Music in the category The Best Jazz & Blues Album.

Karel Růžička / Tenor & Soprano Saxophone

Award-winning saxophonist, composer and producer Karel Růžička was born in Prague, Czech Republic. Růžička permanently relocated to NYC in the spring of 1997 and his debut album You Know What I Mean which he released a few months later was nominated for a Czech Grammy. His second album Spring Rolls Quartet (1999) was awarded Czech Jazz Recording of the Decade. In 2004 Růžička released his third album Brooklyn Moods with Bruce Barth on piano, George Mraz on bass and Brandon Lewis on drums, which was also nominated for a Czech Grammy. In 2010 he has teamed up with Ondre J Pivec (organ) and Russell Carter (drums) to form the CPR Electrio. In October 2018 Karel released his new quartet recording Grace and Gratitude with Jon Cowherd on piano, John Patitucci on bass and Nate Smith on drums. During his career Růžička has also performed as a sideman with many other legendary musicians on the global scene George Benson, Dean Brown, Hiram Bullock, Mike Stern, Joe Locke, Bob Mintzer, Ravi Coltrane, John Patitucci, Arturo Sandoval, Nate Smith, Benny Rietveld, Ben E. King, Miroslav Vitous, Ronnie Burrage, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Fred Wesley, Reggie Young, Rachel Z, and this list is steadily growing...

Jon Cowherd / Piano

Jon Cowherd is an esteemed pianist, composer, arranger and producer who is firmly established as one of the jazz world's most accomplished, expressive and in-demand musicians.
The Kentucky-raised, New Orleans-schooled and New York-based Cowherd is best known for his long-running partnership with drummer and bandleader Brian Blade, with whom he co-founded the Brian Blade Fellowship, whose acclaimed, influential albums showcase Cowherd's stellar keyboard work and singular compositional skills. 
In 1988, he migrated to the musical mecca of New Orleans to attend Loyola University. There, he studied jazz piano and improvisation under Crescent City piano legend Ellis Marsalis. He also played with the New Orleans Ballet and the New Orleans Symphony and Opera. In 1993, Cowherd moved to New York, where he earned a Masters Degree in Jazz Studies from the Manhattan School of Music.

James Genus / Bass

James Genus is well known in many musical genres, playing both electric and acoustic bass. James has recorded/played with artists such as Roy Haynes, Horace Silver, Whitney Houston, Dave Douglas, Bob James or Anita Baker. Most recently, James was a part of Daft Punk´s multi-Grammy Award winning album Random Access Memories. He is currently performing with the iconic pianist, Herbie Hancock. You can also see James weekly on NBC´s longest-running late night LIVE comedy show Saturday Night Live.

E.J. Strickland / Drums

Another one of the fabulous musicians who will play with Karel Růžička at his upcoming concert at the BNH is drummer and composer E.J. Strickland, founder of the E.J. Strickland Quintet who recorded critically acclaimed albums In This Day (2009), The Undying Spirit (2015), and Warriors for Peace (2018). Strickland can be heard on over 60 albums over the last 10 years. He studied jazz at the New School under the supervision of such legends as Reggie Workman, Buster Williams, and Billy Harper. In his music, you can hear influences of Latin, hip-hop and African tribal music.

Grace & Gratitude is available on www.animalmusic.cz and on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon Music.

For further information:

Marie Tomanova / tomanova@czechcenter.com / 646.422.3395

CZECH CENTER NEW YORK, 321 E 73rd Street, New York, NY 10021 
Subway: Q to 72nd Street, 6 to 68 Street/Hunter College

Press release in PDF