Prague Swing Orchestra

Prague Swing Orchestra is an adornment of jazz festivals, concerts, balls and representative parties.
Through the Prague Swing Orchestra, though sounds of legends such as Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, come alive. In the company of the Prague Swing Orchestra you accelerate heartbeat and breath, PSO moves your body and caresses your soul!

Band leader Ondřej Havelka, with a look straight out of Jeeves and Wooster, has just reached the age of 65. The singer, actor (he has appeared in several movies), theatre, opera and music video director and tap dancer is the most recognizable proponent of interwar jazz in the Czech Republic and has a repertoire jammed with both domestic and English-language classics. He started out in the mid-1970s with the Original Prague Syncopated Orchestra before in 1995 launching a new group, Ondřej Havelka and his Melody Makers, with whom he continues to regularly tread the boards.

Ondrej Havelka graduated from the Drama School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (major subject acting), and from the Janacek Academy of Performing Arts in Brno (direction). Having left the Drama School, he spent six years in Studio Ypsilon, a theatre in Prague. He soon appeared on the cast of films and television plays. His successful acting career has brought him four leading parts in feature films and two leads in television series.

After the Velvet Revolution in 1989, he took up television scriptwriting and direction. He has created three theatre musicals as a director.

Ondrej has been deeply involved with singing, dancing and tapping jazz and popular music of the 1920s and 1930s since the time he was a young student. He has recorded six albums with the Original Prague Syncopated Orchestra, and wrote and co-directed a musical film for this band. At the 1991 Montreux festival of television entertainment, this film was awarded a Silver Rose.

In the role of the scriptwriter, singer and director, he recorded a series of three clips in 1995. One of them won the 1995 Czech Grammy award as the Clip of the Year. MTV-Latin bought and broadcast another clip, Jingle Bells.

Also in 1995, Ondrej started his own swing big band, Melody Makers, and has been performing with it since.

The Czech Grammy Academy awarded the Jazzman of the Year title to him in 1996.

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