Czech Christmas Concerts

15 Jan

me, Jess, and Jarka at the concert at the KV theater

The week before going home for Christmas I had the opportunity to attend two Christmas concerts in Karlovy Vary. The first one was at the Karlovy Vary theater, a really beautiful old building in downtown. Our colleague Jarka (pronounced Yar-ka) has a daughter who attends a school for the performing arts. Her daughter is in the primary part of the school and the secondary part put on the Christmas show at the theater.

The concert started with a small jazz band with one singer playing some well-known Christmas carols (White Christmas sang in English, for example). After their first set they brought out a huge band (some of the teachers performed with them) and played a lot of traditional Czech carols. The music was really enjoyable, I was quite impressed with their performance, and it was nice to attend a show at the theater. Here are a few shots of the theater:

At the end of the week Jess and I went to another concert with our friends Renata and Vitek. We became friends with them because their two (really cute) kids attend our Wattsenglish classes. Renata is also in ridiculously good shape so we’ve started running with her. One Saturday morning back in November she took us on a run that was literally uphill for the first 40 minutes. I have never been so convinced that I was going to go into cardiac arrest and have my lungs explode at the same time as I was on that run… But I digress. Renata and Vitek are really nice and fun people and they invited us to go see a local bluegrass/folk band play a show at a small theater in KV. They have been friends with the guys in the band for a long time.

It turned out that the lead singer’s son is in one of Jess’ kindergarten classes so he talked to us before the show. Oh, also I should mention there was free hot wine at the concert! mmmm Anyways, the dad/singer was really nice and told us he hoped we would enjoy the show. Then during the show he dedicated a song to us, apparently in Czech he said something like “my son’s American teachers are here, we’re glad they could join us,” and then in English he said “thank you for coming, this one is for you” and they played John Denver’s “Thank God I’m a Country Boy.” It was awesome!

Most of the songs they played were recognizable to us, some were sang in English (like “Rocky Mount Tennessee”) but others were American/English songs that they sang in Czech (like “California Dreaming” and “Folsom Prison Blues,” which I have a video of below). It was definitely an enjoyable night, and Jess and I found ourselves feeling very “Czech” for being at the concert with local people. Very Czech, minus the whole speaking their language thing, that is. Without further ado, here is the band performing a Czech version of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.”


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