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Big Band head to Prague

3 August 2018

Cardiff University Big Band on a boat on the river Vlatva, Prague

Cardiff University Big Band have recently returned from their annual summer jazz tour. This year they visited the Bohemia Jazz Festival in Prague.

The band were invited to perform at three prestigious venues, including The Colonnade at Mariánské Lázně and the famous Reduta Jazz Club which has hosted the likes of Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis and even Bill Clinton.

They performed to a packed-out audience at Reduta and were warmly greeted with rapturous applause and requests for encores.

Their concerts included the world premiere performance of a new piece, Flypast (2018), composed by lecturer Dr Dan Bickerton. The piece was commissioned by the band and composed especially for the tour to Prague.

During the trip, the group also took a boat trip and lunch on the Vlatva river, a visit to the Charles Bridge, Lennon Wall, the Kafka Museum and Prague Castle.

Dr Dan Bickerton and students in Prague
Dr Dan Bickerton and students in Prague

President of the Jazz Society, and trombonist Chris Davies said: “Prague was a fantastic addition to our run of tours to Europe. The band played excellently and there was plenty of local culture and music to soak up – not least the Bohemia Jazz Festival!”

Music Society President and bass player Jonathan Brown said: “The annual tour always presents a unique and exciting way for year groups to integrate and mix. It was a fantastic trip with plenty of opportunities for the band to play in new settings.”

Dr Bickerton, who accompanied the students on the tour, said: “The students were wonderful ambassadors for Cardiff University and gave three outstanding performances in three very special concert venues. A beautiful city to spend a week with our talented musicians!”

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