Top Pick: Dobrofest 2000 pays homage to the guitar

Trnava, no more than fifty kilometres northeast of Bratislava, will host its annual world music festival during the last week of August. The ninth Dobrofest, beginning Tuesday, August 29, will fill six days with music ranging from blues, jazz and bluegrass to country and ragtime.
Dobrofest pays homage to John Dopyera, a musician born in the Trnava region who invented the Fine Resophonic guitar at the end of the 1920s. It is not only the guitar's name (Dobro) in the festival's title that draws guitarists from across the globe, but the word Dobro ("good") itself, describing the feeling evinced by the musicians playing their guitars at the festival.
Trnava will host more than 200 musicians from 11 different countries and up to 500 professional dancers. Besides the legends who have already taken part in Dobrofest, including one of the best known Dobro guitarists and singers, Bob Brozman, who also returns this year, visitors can see some debut acts at the festival.


Funny Fellows, the only group playing music characteristic of the settlement period in the US, will open the festival on Tuesday at the town's synagogue.
photo: Zuzana Habšudová

Trnava, no more than fifty kilometres northeast of Bratislava, will host its annual world music festival during the last week of August. The ninth Dobrofest, beginning Tuesday, August 29, will fill six days with music ranging from blues, jazz and bluegrass to country and ragtime.

Dobrofest pays homage to John Dopyera, a musician born in the Trnava region who invented the Fine Resophonic guitar at the end of the 1920s. It is not only the guitar's name (Dobro) in the festival's title that draws guitarists from across the globe, but the word Dobro ("good") itself, describing the feeling evinced by the musicians playing their guitars at the festival.

Trnava will host more than 200 musicians from 11 different countries and up to 500 professional dancers. Besides the legends who have already taken part in Dobrofest, including one of the best known Dobro guitarists and singers, Bob Brozman, who also returns this year, visitors can see some debut acts at the festival. Playing in Trnava will be such greats as American bluegrass supertrio Auldridge, Bennett & Gaudreau, English blues player John Crampton, Canadian duo Zubot & Dawson, the German duo Slidekick, Hungarian jug band Dr. Valter & The Lawbreakers and American bluesgrass guitarist and Dopyer's good friend, Al Brinkerhoff.

Apart from some of the world's blues and jazz stars, stages around Trnava centre will be shared by Czech and Slovak bands, famous mainly on local scenes but easily competing for the crowds with their well known Dobrofest counterparts. Top Czech bands like Robert Křesťan a Druhá Tráva, playing traditional country, bluegrass, rock and newgrass music, and bluegrass legends Cop, will play together with Slovak leading bluesman Ján Litecký Šveda and harmonica player Erich Boboš Procházka.

A part of Dobrofest will include the country dance festival Dobro 2000, which will host a dance display featuring all dance groups on Saturday, September 2 at 16:00 at the DKO Trnavia. Dobrofest will also host a series of non-music events, for example Dobropost, an eight-dog postal delivery team, and a relay run, Dobro Millenium 2000+1, starting at midnight on Thursday. Saturday will also provide the the Irish-Scottish music-dance exhibition, while the special drink 'dobrovička' will be available througout the festivities.

Dobrofest starts on Tuesday, August 29 at 16:00. Most of the performances are for free, while some of them (mostly those indoors) range from 50 to 200 Sk, with tickets available at the door. The festival sprawls around the centre of Trnava, Trojičné námestie (The Trinity Square) and surrounding cultural houses, theatres and churches.

For more information you can visit either the Trnava city tower, housing the Information Centre (where you can get the event's entire programme) or the Information Centre at the DKO Trnavia, both on Trojičné námestie. Accomodation is available at local hotels (1,500 Sk per night), or bed-and-breakfasts (around 500 Sk per night). For further details see http://www.dobrofest.sk, or call 07-5441-1049 or 0805-5511-000.

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