Good feelings all around.
Even though Lehotský's birthday was on April 16, the concert's date was scheduled in May so his trumpet-playing brother Juraj could play along side him.
You can feel how good Lehotský is just by being close to him. Energy flies all around him, so much that you can't help but be in a good mood. The same can be said of his music with its beautiful harmonies, moving solos, and feel-good tunes. Lehotský's music is especially popular with contemporary adults.
Lehotský has been on stage ever since he was four years old, when he toddled around as part of a marionette theater. He was a freelance composer for many years before the Velvet Revolution. Freelance in Slovak, umelec na voľnej nohe, means an artist with free legs, an odd profession during socialism and rather hard to explain to the police when they checked the artist's ID (it usually took one to two hours), Lehotský related. "They should be able to understand now," he said with a chuckle. "At least I hope."
In 1974, Lehotský became manager of the Modus music group. He also managed the career of star Slovak singer Marika Gombitová, who is paralysed for life after a tragic car accident. Lehotský helped make Modus and Gombitová famous in Czechoslovakia during the 70's and 80's.
After 1989, Lehotský tried to keep Modus together but had many doubts about whether people still wanted to hear his type of music. "It was a time of 'individuals,' no more of the collective," he said. "People wanted to see if they could make it on their own."
But he stayed popular and his songs can still be heard all over Slovak airwaves. Lehotský has made around 20 records; his last, "Black and White World," sold well. The tunes flow smoothly like a Kenny G song or a Vangelis tune. Some of his lyrics are even in English, mainly philosophizing on the beauty of life. Lehotský tries to write music that will make people feel good. He has received many letters from people who have said that his music helped cure them when they were sad. That means the world to him. All of Lehotský's friends will be there at the concert - Modus, Gombitová and others he has worked with over the years. It promises to be a fun evening of music.
A concert celebrating Janko Lehotský's 50th birthday will be held May 17, at 7 p.m. at the Zrkadlová Háj - Dom Kultúry in Petržalka. Tickets are available at the door for 100 Sk. Bus numbers 37, 47, and 112 run from old town Bratislava across the Danube there.
8. May 1997 at 0:00 | Danka Hašková