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SLOVAK BLUESMEN PLAY BENEFIT CONCERT FOR KATRINA VICTIMS

Slovak blues reaches out to New Orleans

SLOVAKIA's bluesmen have always thought of New Orleans, the cradle of their musical inspiration, as the happiest city in the world. But Hurricane Katrina destroyed that image. Many famous jazz clubs, cafés with live blues, and popular restaurants serving jambalaya, are under water.

SLOVAKIA's bluesmen have always thought of New Orleans, the cradle of their musical inspiration, as the happiest city in the world. But Hurricane Katrina destroyed that image. Many famous jazz clubs, cafés with live blues, and popular restaurants serving jambalaya, are under water.

"We could not ignore this tragedy," said Ján Litecký-Šveda, president of the Slovak Blues Society.

The Slovak blues enthusiasts got together and initiated Blues for New Orleans, a benefit concert that took place at Bratislava's Stoka theatre over several hours on September 26. Through songs, both sad and happy, the performers poured out their sympathy for their fellow human beings made destitute by the hurricane.

The music created a great mood and a feeling of solidarity in the small theatre.

Jozef Barina and Krokoband opened the concert. Soňa Horňáková with Slide and Udu, Juraj "Dura" Turtev and Miloš Železňák, Silvia Josifoska and Peter "Bonzo" Radványi, who took the role as the evenings master of ceremonies, followed. Katka Korček translated the words of Peter Cardarelli, a US saxophonist who remembered the joyous times he had performing in New Orleans several years ago. As a US citizen, he thanked the audience for being there.

The money generated from the evening, a total Sk6,631 (€172) was donated to the Slovak Red Cross. "Despite America being remote, the people at the concert generously donated their money," said Emília Pavleová of the Slovak Red Cross.

"I don't know if they [the people of New Orleans] will find out about this support, but at least our consciences know," said Litecký-Šveda.

So far, the Slovak Red Cross has collected Sk20,159 (€532) in hurricane relief.


The Slovak Red Cross' collection called People to People runs until the end of October. Money can be donated via the VÚB bank, Dunajská 24, Bratislava 1, account no. 66555/0200, variable symbol VS 666.



Guitarist Jožo Barina opened the gig with his band.
photo: Jana Grancová

Silvia Josifoska found the spirit of the blues.
photo: Jana Grancová

Katka Korček sang after translating US musician Cardarelli's thanks.
photo: Jana Grancová

The Blues Society's president, Ján Litecký-Šveda, spoke and sang.
photo: Jana Grancová

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