Wednesday, December 2, 2009

GigTips: December 2009

And so we reach December, and it is hard to understand where the last twelve months have gone. But gone they have, bringing us around to the end of yet another year and into another Christmas season. It is a time to eat, drink and be merry, and it's always fun doing just that at one of the many Christmas markets in Prague. The health benefits of living for an entire month on a diet of hot wine and roasted chestnuts are unknown, but we will let you know if anything exciting happens. Enjoy the season, and do try not to fall into the carp tanks when you're drunk. And now, here are our December GigTips.

As you all know November saw the release of Tomáš Liška's début solo album, Invisible World. He is celebrating its release, alongside his two collaborators and perhaps some special guests, with two gigs at Jazz Dock (9, 10/12). The first night is the official “christening” of the album and is sure to be a happy event. Also worth seeing at Jazz Dock in December is the always creative Beata Hlavenková with her Trio (21/12). The audiences at Jazz Dock can be a bit chatty so if you want to listen properly make sure that you get a seat near the front and prepare to stare meaningfully at aural trespassers.

AghaRTA Jazz Centrum is offering a quality December programme as can be expected. Another man with a recently released album, Emil Viklický, will be dropping by on 10/12. He is playing with his usual Trio so expect a blend of original compositions, adaptations of Moravian folk songs, and interestingly delivered standards. If you fancy some woodwind excellence then you must go to see the legendary Jiří Stivín: he's playing there on 15, 16/12. AghaRTA is also hosting a lively New Year's Eve event, with the party-hearty Rhythm Desperados playing out the final hours of 2009.

USP Jazz Lounge are continuing their trend of having one-off, interesting concerts with the pairing of pianist Matej Benko and Latin singer Yvonne Sánchez (16/12). Matej will also be appearing with his Trio at U Malého Glena on 29/12. He's a very good pianist and one of the stars of the younger generation of musicians on the Czech scene.

That completes our recommendations for December. Of course we have mentioned just a very small selection of gigs, so do follow the links to the club and artist websites for complete listings. Remember that Christmas is a time for giving presents, and Czech jazz CDs make very good presents indeed. Not only will you be supporting the local musicians but your music-loving friends will thank you for it.

Have fun out there!

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