Czechoslovakian artists oppressed by the communist regime started Jazz Club Reduta in 1957. It was one of the first jazz clubs in Central Europe. In addition to jazz, the club was an experimental theatre and started a revolution in acting methods.
“After performances, dissidents and crusaders met at Reduta until dawn. The Czech secret police – StB – took strong actions against them, but their meetings continued until the fall of the communist dictatorship.”
Finding the right night-time activities can be tricky when traveling solo, but jazz clubs are welcoming and comfortable. Last night the performance was The Blues Story, a special project of Prague’s best bluesmen. Although blues is not my favorite form of jazz, the evening was well spent and the talented group – three guitars and a drummer – played their hearts out for an enthusiastic audience. Their English pronunciation and Czech accents were cute when singing traditional Chicago blues songs!
I visited Reduta in 2013 and wanted to come back. U Malého Glena in Malostranská is another Prague club with good jazz. A few weeks ago, exceptional Czech jazz Pianist Najponk and his trio performed. The two clubs have quite a competition going.
Since 1964 Reduta has hosted the annual Prague International Jazz Festival, usually held in autumn. It’s the oldest music festival in the Czech Republic and one of the oldest and most traditional in Europe.
“Stars like Louis Armstrong, Ronnie Scott, Acker Bilk, Wynton Marsalis, and B.B. King have performed at the festival. After their shows, they were known to head for Reduta where their jam sessions and informal meetings with local artists were legendary.”