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The old Traditional Club reunites

ONLY the most dedicated fans probably remember the original line-up of the Traditional Club, a short-lived, yet legendary Bratislava jazz band that broke up when its founding members failed to return home from abroad. In 2001, some new faces took over the band's name, but soon proved its original spirit remains irretrievably lost.

The band's glorious times in 1965.
ONLY the most dedicated fans probably remember the original line-up of the Traditional Club, a short-lived, yet legendary Bratislava jazz band that broke up when its founding members failed to return home from abroad. In 2001, some new faces took over the band's name, but soon proved its original spirit remains irretrievably lost.

Now, anyone who wants to reminisce about old times can come to the Veľkí Františkáni wine tavern, where, on the evening of April 18, some of the band's founding members will reunite in a traditional, unplugged jam session with other musicians.

The Traditional Club formed in 1961 and soon became a leading jazz band in then communist Czechoslovakia. Its success grew abroad when the regime eased restrictions a bit in the late 1960s, but ended abruptly when a return to authoritarianism in August 1968 caused some of its members to refuse to come home from a foreign tour. Band members Igor Čelko, Peter Móric and Pavel Molnár settled in Switzerland and Karol Závodný stayed in Norway.

Saxophonist and pianist Čelko and clarinettist Móric met last Easter in Bratislava and decided to put on a concert around the same time this year that would restore the band's legendary sound.

Another founding member, drummer Karol Sucháň, will also appear at the reunion, as will long-time member and prolific jazzman Vlado Vizár, who will provide the trumpet sound. Banjo player Anton Rakický and bassist Ján Jankeje, the Slovak native who fled to Germany in 1968, will complete the group.

"We are old friends," Jankeje explains about his relationship with the band. "When I was 16, I used to substitute for [the band's bass player] Molnár."

The fact these jazz musicians were forced to leave the country due to the former regime has only increased their "hunger for their homeland", Jankeje says.

An occasion to satisfy that hunger for a while is upon us.


- ZH


What:Traditional Club - jam sesson.
Where:Veľkí Františkáni wine tavern, Františkánske námestie 10, Bratislava.
When:April 18 at 19:00.

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