Milokraj UK Premiere
London, March 25th: The audience at The Cellar in Oxford and London’s Green Note will have a unique opportunity this April to hear the UK premiere of Milokraj (meaning ‘beloved land’ in Czech). Milokraj is a stunning new project of the accomplished singer Marta Topferova and bassist Tomas Liska, two cosmopolitan and visionary Czech musicians, who put together a brand new collection of original songs drawing on Czech and Moravian folklore, and inspired by contemporary jazz and world music .The concerts are organized with the support of the Czech Centre London.
Marta Topferova, singer and Tomas Liska, bassist
8 April, 7.30 pm The
10 April,8.30 pm Green
"Topferova sings with an elegant longing in her voice" - New York Times
"Music that resonates with much heart and beauty" - Lilly Ladjevardi, BBC, London
Marta Topferova and Tomas Liska have both had illustrious careers involving a broad spectrum of music stretching from classical music to world music and jazz. Milokraj was born out of a deep yearning to explore the music of their roots and on the way to their ‘beloved land’ they search for their personal and musical identity, for the dreamed-of home inside their own hearts. In addition to Marta's spirited vocals and Tomas' acoustic bass, the ensemble features an all-star line up: Moldavian hammered dulcimer player Marcel Comendant, Slovak violinist Stano Paluch, and Czech guitarist David Doruzka.
Topferova and Liska's idea is to capture the spirit and depth of their tradition, yet to bring a fresh approach to the arrangements and interpretation, letting each musician’s creativity inform the sound. Since Topferova and Liska are both acclaimed members of today's international music scene, Milokraj promises to be a valuable contribution not only to contemporary Czech music, but to the pleasure of music lovers all over the world.
Marta Topferova, hailed by the BBC as “a leading light of the nueva canción movement of today”, is a Czech-born, New York-based Latin singer, world-renowned for her deep, resonant voice, as well as her poetic songs in English, Spanish and Czech. She is an accomplished accompanist on acoustic guitar, four-string cuatro and hand percussion such as maracas and clave specializing in Latin American rhythms. Topferova has released six albums Her collection of Czech folk songs entitled Homage to Homeland (2002), has been praised as a sublime representation of Slavic folk music. Sueño Verde (Circular Moves/ Rykodisc) followed in 2003, and in 2004 Marta signed with the World Village label and produced three luminous Spanish language albums - La Marea (2005), Flor Nocturna (2006) and Trova (2009). www.martatopferova.com
Tomas Liska studied double-bass at the Jaroslav Jezek Conservatory in Prague and is currently finishing a masters in composition at the prestigious Jazz Institut Berlin, under the direction of renowned American teachers Greg Cohen and John Hollenbeck. Tomas has performed internationally at jazz festivals and concert halls across Europe, the Americas, and Africa, and has won several prizes at jazz festivals. His key collaborators, besides Marta Topferova, are David Doruzka, Steve Walsh, Cyrille Oswald, Lenka Dusilova, Dan Tepfer, Mark Aanderud, and many others. Tomas's debut album as a composer, Invisible World (2009 Animal Music), received the Tais Awards prize for the most original recording of 2009, and was nominated for the Czech Grammy awards (Anděl). www.tomasliska.com