Czech Republic

Even though the Czech Republic is fairly small (the population is around 10 million), jazz music has a long and significant tradition.

One of the “first jazzmen” in the 1920s in Czechoslovakia was Jaroslav Ježek. During the communist era, jazz as a genre was mildly tolerated so the Czech Republic could still produce high quality jazz artists and records (for example Jan Hammer, Miroslav Vitous and George Mraz, bands like Studio 5, SHQ). A lot of musicians moved from Czechoslovakia to the USA to pursue their career in jazz music.

At the moment, the Czech Republic hosts a number of jazz festivals - almost every bigger city in the Czech Republic has its own jazz club or festival. Jazz workshops are also very popular (Karel Velebný Summer Jazz Workshop in Frýdlant or Czech Jazz Workshop). It is possible to study jazz at the academic level at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in Brno. 

The Czech Republic hosts both big festivals for thousands of people and smaller festivals scattered throughout the state. 

Current jazz scene is influenced by modern trends but is also very diverse.

Guide compiled by EJN member Mladí Ladí Jazz