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Oct 7, 2004 12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Jazz Evening - Martin Kratochvil & Tony Ackerman

Thursday, October 7, 8 pm, Czech Center, 1109 Madison Avenue @ 83rd Street, RSVP (212) 288 0830 ext. 109

Czech Center New York & Czech Consulate General

cordially invite you

to a Jazz Evening with

Martin Kratochvil & Tony Ackerman

Thursday, October &, 8 pm
Czech Center New York
1109 Madison Avenue (at 83rd Street)

RSVP at 212 288 0830 ext. 109



Tony Ackerman (guitar) and Martin Kratochvil (piano) have been performing
their special blend of acoustic jazz throughout Central Europe since 1985.
Their six albums (Old Acquaintance --1986, Ornament--1987, Moravian
Concerts--1988, Chairoscuro--1989, Spolu--1992, and Duolog-- 2001)
have become a staple of the Czech jazz scene.

Martin Kratochvil became well known to audiences throughout Eastern Europe in the 1970's, when he brought jazz-rock and live electronic performance to this part of the world with his legendary group Jazz Q,  which between 1970 and 1984 recorded a dozen albums and won prizes at several international festivals, including San Sebastian and Zurich.
Before this time, Kratochvil had managed to earn a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Prague's Charles University, travel in England for a year, and pursue his
interest in jazz, competitive skiing and mountain climbing.  In 1976 he became the first Czech musician to be invited (and allowed) to spend a
year at Boston's Berklee College of Music, where he studied with Gary Burton and Mike Gibbs.  Upon his return from the U.S. in 1977, Kratochvil
continued working with Jazz Q ,  and also founded Studio Budikov, the first privately-owned recording studio in Communist Czechoslovakia.  This
entrepeneurial spirit ripened in the forming of the Bonton Music Cooperative (still under the Communist regime), which then, after the
Velvet Revolution of 1989, went on to become the largest entertainment conglomerate in the former East Bloc.  As Chairman of Bonton, Martin is known outside the Czech Republic as the model of the new Czech entrepreneur. He continues with his passion for climbing, travelling twice a year to the Himalayas on ever more remote treks, and has in the past few years added to his range of careers by making several best-selling films about the Himalayas  But he is most at home behind the piano keyboard, where he has developed a style that can remind you of Keith Jarrett, Thelonius Monk or John Cage, depending on the piece of the moment; he combines a hard percussive attack and rhythmic drive with gentle and lush harmonies, and when the musical tension mounts he is not afraid to strike or pluck the piano strings with any object at at hand. 

Tony Ackerman grew up in the the 1960's in the American university towns of Berkeley, California and Cambridge, Massachusetts, where the "folk
revival"  brought every older blues or country musician to the local coffeehouses.  By the age of 12, Ackerman was playing guitar, banjo and
mandolin at clubs and on radio, and in his teens performed every kind of American roots music he came across: blues, jug band music, ragtime and
bluegrass -- only later reaching out to bossa nova and jazz.   He entered Harvard in 1968, recorded with the avant-garde rock musician Peter Ivers,
then left college after two years to travel to Italy, his birthplace, to study classical guitar.   It was during his Italian sojourn that Ackerman,
in Prague with his Czech fiancee, met Kratochvil in 1971.  Their
friendship evolved into a close musical collaboration when Ackerman returned to Prague in 1984, this time on an IREX study grant to complete his Ph.D. in Music, which he received from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Ackerman, who plays a 7-string acoustic guitar custom built by John Monteleone, maintains all of the styles he has traveled through, from the
wailing of blues and the finger-picking syncopation of ragtime to the gentle consonance of country music and the jazz harmonies of bossa nova.
Like Kratochvil on the piano, Ackerman experiments with all of  the sounds a guitar can produce, percussive or melodic.

A typical Ackerman/Kratochvil concert will take you through their lush original melodies and harmonies, explosive percussive free-for-alls, and
virtuosic solo displays. Throughout their hundreds of concerts and club dates the duo has developed a rare rapport; it has often been said of
them that you can't tell who is "soloing" and who is "accompanying".  It is hard to tell with them where the written material stops and the
improvisation begins, for they develop each piece with its own unique  style of improvisation,  totally intertwined with the written material.
The music is, as is often the case with interesting modern music, hard to place in any category, including "jazz".  It is a new, original brand of
acoustic music -- maybe we can call it a "global folk music for the new millenium." 


Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street
NY 10021 New York
United States


Oct 7, 2004 12:00 AM - 12:00 AM


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