Jaromír Honzák Quartet
David Dorůžka – guitar
Vít Křišťan – piano, keyboards
Roman Vícha – drums
Jaromír Honzák – acoustic and electric bass
The Jaromír Honzák Quartet performs mostly original compositions by the leader. Grounded in contemporary jazz, but open to the many influences beyond, they perform music both fragile and charged with energy.
David Dorůžka, born in 1980 in Prague, Czechoslovakia, he took up the guitar at the age of ten and from the age of fourteen started performing with leading musicians on the Czech jazz scene. In 1995 he received the “Talent of the Year” award from the Czech Jazz Society. He played on award-winning recordings of Karel Růžička Jr. (You Know What I Mean, 1997) and Jaromír Honzák (Earth Life, featuring Jorge Rossy, 1998).
From 1999 until 2002 Dorůžka lived in Boston in the USA and studied composition and improvisation at Berklee College of Music. Among his teachers were Joe Lovano, Mick Goodrick and George Garzone. Dorůžka was chosen by Pat Metheny to participate as the only guitarist in the Aspen Snowmass Jazz Colony in Colorado in summer 2000, where he studied with Christian McBride, Joshua Redman, Brian Blade and Herbie Hancock among others. In the summer 2002 Dorůžka took part in a tour with the “Swinging Europe” project led by British pianist and composer Django Bates.
After graduating from Berklee, Dorůžka lived in New York City from 2002 to 2003. In New York he recorded his first CD Hidden Paths, which was awarded the Anděl prize in the Czech music academy awards as CD of the year 2004 in Jazz&Blues category. Since moving back to Europe at the end of 2003, Dorůžka has been performing mostly with his own trio and also working in a quartet with singer Josefine Lindstrand from Sweden.
In addition to performing and composing, Dorůžka dedicates his time to pedagogical activities. In the past years he has taught at the Department of Higher Education at the Conservatory of Jaroslav Ježek in Prague and since 2003 he has been a teacher at the annual Prague Jazz Summer Workshop. He has also given masterclasses and clinics in Czech Republic and abroad.
Dorůžka has appeared at important festivals in the US (Monterey, Cleveland and others), Canada (Montreal), and in many European countries (festivals in Vienne, Copenhagen, Warszaw, Athens and others). Countries where he has performed also include Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, Greece, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The list of musicians with whom he has worked includes names such as Jorge Rossy, Django Bates, Tiger Okoshi, Perico Sambeat, Albert Sanz, Rodney Green, Orrin Evans, Kenwood Dennard, Phil Wilson, Greg Hopkins, Don Grusin and many others.
David Dorůžka graduated from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Active on the Prague jazz scene since age 14, he has received international acclaim for his work as a guitarist and composer. In 1995, at the age of 15 he received the Czech Jazz Society for the best jazz talent. While at Berklee, he received the Wayne Shorter and Jimi Hendrix awards, and in 2000 he was chosen by Pat Metheny as the only guitar player to gain a place at the prestigious masterclass led by Christian McBride in Aspen, Colorado. In 2002 he toured throughout Europe as a member of the „Swinging Europe“ big band led by Django Bates. He has recorded with K.Růžička Jr. (You Know What I Mean) and Jaromir Honzak (Earth Life). In 2003 David recorded his debut album „Hidden Paths“ in New York. He now lives in Paris.
Roman Vícha was born in Ostrava in 1979 and represents the third generation of musicians in his family. He began his studies at the age of 13, and began professional training at the Janáček Conservatory in Ostrava.
A graduate of Prague's Jaroslav Ježek VOŠ JAZZ, he is considered to be one of the most talented and versatile drummers on the Czech jazz scene. His energetic, brisk, all-round and flexible style of touch covers wide broad-spectrum of music styles from groove, jazz through blues, bigbeat, pop, jungle and hip hop. He is also an experienced studio player.
He divides his busy schedule between several bands of different styles, including Toxique, Muff, Bucinatores, Jaryn Janek & Ty Lidi, Private Earthquake and Face of the Bass. He has played with Ivan Král (USA), Steve Walsh (USA), Oskar Schönning (SWE), Nils Berg (SWE), Melanie Scholtz (JAR), Gorm Helfjord (NOR), Pavel Wlosok(USA), Brian Seeger(USA), Casandra Faulconer(CAN), Mike Baggetta(USA), Chris Jennings(CAN), Demian Cabaud(ARG), Grzegorz Karnas(PL), Nude Ants Theater.
Jaromír Honzák was born in Litoměřice, Czech Republic in 1959. He began his musical studies on the piano at the age of six and on the double bass at age 14, and graduated from the Conservatory of Teplice in 1982. After completing two years of then-mandatory military service -- luckily spent in a prominent army band in Prague -- Jaromír quickly became a versatile and sought-after bassist, performing with virtually all of the major figures of the Czech jazz scene.
Jaromír co-founded the group Naima, which fast became one of the most significant Czech jazz groups of the 1980s. Throughout the years he has appeared with international artists such as Art Farmer, Phil Wilson, Don Friedman, Alan Praskin, Giovanni Basso, Amina Claudine Myers and Victor Lewis. He has performed at a number of international festivals including Sea Jazz Helsinki, Ingolstadter Jazztage, Leverkusener Jazztage, the Jazz Jamboree Warsaw, and the Montreal International Jazz Festival.
In 1989 Jaromír was awarded both Berklee and Fulbright scholarships to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston. There he studied with Bruce Gertz, Hal Crook, John La Porta and Rick Peckham, and performed with fellow students Jorge Rossy, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Roy Hargrove, Mark Turner and Chris Cheek.
Since returning to the Czech Republic in 1990, Jaromír has documented his work as a bandleader, bassist and composer in six recordings: "Getting There Together" (1995, PJ Music); "Earth Life" (2000, Cube Metier); "Present Past" (2003, Indies); "A Question To All Your Answers" (2007, Animal Music) and "Little Things" (2009, Animal Music). His last album "Blood Sings" (2012, Animal Music) covers the music of Suzanne Vega.
On his recordings Jaromír collaborates with a range of international artists, including Kuba Stankiewicz, Piotr Baron, Michal Tokaj, Lukasz Zyta, Christian Rover, Jorge Rossy, Chris Cheek, Sissel Vera Pettersen, David Dorůžka, Beata Hlavenková and Vítek Křišťan.
Jaromír’s recordings and compositions have been awarded numerous prizes both in the Czech Republic and abroad. His CD's "Little Things", "A Question To All Your Answers" and "Present Past" were each awarded the "Angel" prize for the best Czech jazz recording of the year. In 2009, album "A Question To All Your Answers" won 3rd place at Instrumental Jazz Album category of the Just Plain Folks Award.
His tune "Constant Struggle" is featured in the European Realbook (Sher Music).
Presently, Jaromír leads his two bands: the Jaromír Honzák Quartet and a quartet named Face of the Bass. He is also a member of the Vitek Křišťan Trio, Lubos Soukup's Points Septet, the Eben Brothers band as well as Iva Bittová's group Čikori.
Jaromír leads the jazz department at the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (HAMU), where he is active as a teacher of bass and improvisation.