Celebrated Romani composer Tomáš Kačo releases debut CD "My Home" and will perform soon in Prague
Pianist Tomáš Kačo released his long-awaited debut CD, "My Home", on 28 October, the state holiday in the Czech Republic marking the establishment of an independent Czechoslovakia 100 years ago. The album symbolically connects the Atlantic coasts of America and Europe, featuring guest musicians from the Czech Republic and Kačo's new home in the USA, where he has remained after graduating from the Berklee College of Music.
Guest performers on the album include the multiple Grammy winner John Patitucci, the composer Ondřej Gregor Brzobohatý, the Kühn Children's Choir, and Kačo's younger sister Veronika. The album features not just his own compositions but also his arrangements of Czech folk songs such as "Ach synku, synku" or "Široký hluboký", as well as cover versions of the song "Podvod" by the Nedvěd Brothers and traditional Romani songs.
"My aim was to put together a collection of songs that are close to my heart. Each of them has a special significance for me, all of them evoke memories and a feeling of home," Kačo explains.
"My Home" is available on Google Play, iTunes and Spotify. Kačo, who performs only rarely in the Czech Republic, will appear in concert in Prague after a three-year absence as part of the new piano series "Resonance Transducers" (Hybatelé rezonance) on 12 and 13 November at the Convent of St. Agnes.
Prague audiences can look forward not just to the celebratory launch of "My Home", but to hearing new pieces from the album in concert. While the 12 November date is sold out, tickets are still available for the 13 November show.
Thanks to his own "fire in the belly" and the aid of those around him, Kačo managed to work until he was accepted to study at the famous Berklee College of Music in Boston, an achievement that he crowned this year with a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall. Thanks to his studies, he has also collaborated with many interesting musical figures.
The famous jazzman Patitucci said of Kačo that: "He knows how to achieve a gorgeous sound and is a very sensitive, communicative musician." Berklee, which Kačo graduated from in two years, also taught him to take advantage of his Romani roots as a creative device of value.
The composer's Romani roots make it possible for him to create his specific compositional and interpretive style, in which elements of classical music, folk music and jazz intersect and where improvisation holds an essential place. He began his journey toward a musical life in very modest circumstances.
The fourth of 12 siblings, Kačo began to play on the piano intuitively at the age of five, learning to read music, play scales, use the basics of technique and understand music theory when he enrolled into the Primary School for the Arts in Nový Jičín at age 12. "Because I began with improvising and playing by ear, that has become one of my greatest advantages as far as musical perception goes," the composer says today.
He studied next at the Janáček Conservatory in Ostrava under the direction of the renowned Professor Pavel Motloch, whom he also considers his personal mentor. Among the crucial teachers he studied with at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (AMU), Ivo Kahánek stands out and will now symbolically meet up with his former student as part of the Resonance Transducers cycle.
Kačo won a young composers' competition and spent the money on his "American chance" - auditions for the Berklee College of Music, where he completed his studies in 2017 and then remained on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. As for the Resonance Transducers concert cycle, it is being sponsored by the C. Bechstein firm in collaboration with the National Gallery in Prague.
The concert cycle is the continuation of a successful two-year project in which Saleem Ashkar performed the complete series of Beethoven's piano sonatas. The Bakala Foundation is also a supporter of the release of "My Home".
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