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Con Alma
by Karel Ruzicka, piano, with Rudolf Dasek, guitar
Karel Ruzicka (1940 to 2016) was a Czech 'jazz' pianist, composer and tutor. Karel Ruzicka was born on June 2nd 1940 in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now the independent Czech Republic). He studied both the drums and the piano at the Prague Conservatory, and after finishing his military service worked for four seasons playing piano in the orchestra of the city's Semafor Theatre, led by Ferdinand Havlik. In the late 1960s, he joined Karel Krautgartner as part of the 'Czechoslovak Radio Jazz Orchestra', again on piano. In the 1970s, he was variously part of 'Jazz Celula' with Laca Decziho, played with Lud'ka Hulana, and later joined Karla Velebneho's group 'S+HQ'. Throughout his career as session musician, Ruzicka performed and recorded with many of the leading 'jazz' soloists, such as Rudolf Dasek (with both featured here), George Mraz, Jiri Stivin and Rudolf Rokl, as well as guesting on piano with such ensembles as the 'Prague Big Band' (under Milana Svobody), the 'Gustava Broma Orchestra', and with the Finnish and Danish Radio Orchestras. He was also a much-acclaimed composer and educator, teaching composition and piano at the Konzervatori Jaroslava Jezka and at the Akademii Muzickych Umeni in Prague. As a composer, he worked mainly in the realms of classical music, writing choral, symphonic and chamber music, and was also director of the Summer Jazz Workshop in Frydlant. His son, Karel Ruzicka Junior, is also a renowned 'jazz' musician, living in the USA and teaching at the New York Jazz Academy. Karel Ruzicka died in Prague on September 26th 2016, aged 76. [ Translated from: ]
Posted: 15th October 2016
Hundreds of very talented musicians pass away each year, some without much recognition at all. On "Rest In Peace", I aim to give them a fitting 'send-off', with a decent Tribute. I hope you will join me in marking their passing.....
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