Art & Community
AMERICAN BLUEGRASS MUSIC & THE CZECH IMAGINATION
No other place in the world has a romance with American Bluegrass music like the Czech Republic.
The documentary BANJO ROMANTIKA was filmed in the Czech Republic and in East Tennessee.
Druha Trava in Austin, Texas
Featuring music from Luboš Malina & Robert Křest'an, (Druha Trava), Marko Čermák (Greenhorns), Zdeněk Roh (Roll's Boys/Roll’s Banjos), Zbyněk Bureš (Reliéf), Kamarádi Balnkanského Rančeů.
Zdeněk Roh of Roll's Banjos
In Tennessee every cowboy or every farmer loves this music and that's why everyone young and old knows how to play it. Guitars, harmonicas, banjos, bass… I'll stay forever in the land of this music. – "Modrá Tráva," a classic Czech bluegrass song
Marko Čermák, Greenhorns
“America, land of dreams-- the land of sailors, gold prospectors, Alaska, grizzly bears.”
Zbyněk Bureš of "Relief"
Czech Bluegrass music resounds in a landscape far removed from the hills of East Tennessee but comes back home in the documentary, BANJO ROMANTIKA.
The “father” of Czech Bluegrass
Roh plays with his band, Roll’s Boys, in the documentary.
Zdeněk Roh, owner of Roll's Banjos, and hosts regular jam sessions with the town’s mayor as guest of honor, a factory owner on fiddle, and an affable construction worker on banjo.
Visit the official film site: www.banjoromantika.com
BANJO ROMANTIKA introduces the musicians who play a unique bluegrass hybrid. Czechs first heard bluegrass during World War II when the Armed Forces Network broadcast American music for soldiers. The music represented freedom to dissatisfied Czechs living in a communist state. Czechs’ love for the music was solidified when Pete Seeger visited and performed in 1964. Inspired by classic American bluegrass sounds, an assortment of musicians from across the formerly communist Czech Republic have melded the past, the political and the present into a lively musical tradition entirely its own. Musician Lee Bidgood leads viewers through Czech Bluegrass's fascinating history while performing original Czech Bluegrass songs at renowned venue, The Down Home, in Johnson City, Tennessee. Bidgood links the Eastern European tradition to East Tennessee, a region where, "every cowboy or every farmer loves this music and that's why everyone young and old knows how to play it," according to a traditional Czech bluegrass song.
Banjo Romantika is distributed by DER & streams on Kanopy.