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News > DAHA’S CONCERT DRAWS SKVORECKY AFFICIONADOS

DAHA’S CONCERT DRAWS SKVORECKY AFFICIONADOS

Majda Kallab Whitaker 05 February, 2013

The Dvorak American Heritage Association (DAHA) welcomed the New Year with a well-attended jazz and literary tribute to Josef Skvorecky (1924-2012).  In his opening remarks, New York University Professor Michael Beckerman noted the deep appreciation of jazz and classical music in the writings of renowned Czech-Canadian author Skvorecky before turning the program over to jazz greats Emil Viklicky on the piano, and Scott Robinson on the bass saxophone, accompanied by Martin Wind, string bass, and Klaus Suonsaari, drums.

 

Emil Viklicky on the piano, accompanied by Martin Wind, string bass, and Klaus Suonsaari, drums. Photo by Katerina Kyselica, courtesy of BBLA.

 

Emil Viklicky in front of the attentive audience. Photo by Katerina Kyselica, courtesy of BBLA.

 

Viklicky, who was close to Skvorecky, led the quartet in jazz selections ranging from a traditional Moravian tune (after Janacek) to Dvorak’s Humoresque and Goin’ Home, based on the Largo from the New World Symphony, plus a 1940s composition from his film score for Rhythm on the Heels, based on a Skvorecky story.  The complicated workings and amazing sounds of the bass saxophone were demonstrated by Scott Robinson, who performed his original composition Step Into My Dreams.  Readings from Skvorecky’s book The Bass Saxophone were presented by Vit Horejs and Deborah Beshaw of The Czechoslovak-American Marionettes Theatre and from Dvorak in Love by Professor Beckerman and Majda Kallab Whitaker of DAHA, followed by a moving personal tribute from Conductor Maurice Peress. The program closed with the Gershwin favorite, Summertime.

 

New York University Professor Michael Beckerman noted the deep appreciation of jazz and classical music in the writings of renowned Czech-Canadian author Skvorecky. Photo by Katerina Kyselica, courtesy of BBLA.

 

More photos from the event can be viewed in BBLA Flickr Photostream.

 


 

Majda Kallab Whitaker is an independent scholar and curatorial consultant, and as a Board Member of the Dvorak American Heritage Association, acts as project director of the Dvorak Room in the Bohemian National Hall. A graduate of Bard Graduate Center and Vassar College, she curates exhibitions and lectures on subjects related to late nineteenth and early twentieth century cultural and design history.  She was born in Prague, and recently joined the Board of BBLA.

 


Bohemian Benevolent & Literary AssociationHospodaThe National Czech and Slovak MuseumAmerican Friends of the Czech RepublicCzech CenterConsulate General