The beginnings of the B-Side Band, a professional Brno big band led by the bandleader Josef Buchta, date back to 2006. Since its inception, the band has performed at prestigious social events, large festival stages (such as Smetana's Litomyšl, Český Krumlov, Colors of Ostrava, Karlovy Vary), and in European musical centers (Vienna, Leipzig, Prague, Bratislava). It is a residential ensemble of the Groove Brno International Music Festival.
Their success has been accompanied by collaborations with leading foreign performers – the world-famous New York Voices vocal ensemble, the charming British vocal trio The Puppini Sisters, and a tour with the multiple Grammy-winning American singer Kurt Elling. The B-Side Band was a core ensemble in the internationally acclaimed staging of Leonard Bernstein's MASS (2016 and 2018).
Chamber Orchestra Brno
The chamber instrumental ensemble tailored to the needs of the projects organized by the Groove Brno music festival is composed of leading players from the renowned Brno ensembles – the Brno Philharmonic, the Brno National Theater Opera Orchestra, and the Brno Municipal Theater Orchestra. They first performed in this line-up as part of the renewed premiere of the expanded version of the Jazz Mass in 2008. Since then, they have collaborated with the B-Side Band on almost all projects that require a larger orchestral sound, such as the stage performance of Leonard Bernstein's MASS.
Ars Brunensis is a mixed choir with more than 40 years of tradition. The choir is highly valued for its exquisite artistic qualities, especially in the field of interpretation of musical works of the Baroque period. The choir also participates in projects of other musical genres, such as jazz, folklore, musicals, or alternative music. They get invited to music festivals, collaborate with renowned ensembles and artists, theaters, and cultural institutions in the Czech Republic and abroad. The choir has participated in over two dozen CD recordings. The ensemble records stage music for leading theaters and collaborates with a number of contemporary authors, especially with Vladimír Franz.
Dan Kalousek is the chief conductor of the Brno City Theater, choirmaster of Ars Brunensis, and tutor at the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in Brno. He collaborates with Czech and foreign ensembles, philharmonic and chamber orchestras (e.g., Czech Virtuosi), choirs (e.g., Jenaer Madrigalkreis, Bohemiachor), and theaters (e.g., Slovakia narodno gledališče Maribor, Walensse-Buhne). As a conductor and music director he conducts film and incidental music for leading Czech theaters, radio, television, and foreign productions. He has made a number of recordings, especially compositions by contemporary authors and for publishing houses including Naxos, Vienna Modern Masters, Supraphon, Capstone Records, Querstand and others.
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Big Round Records is dedicated to presenting world-class musicians doing what they do best: smash the walls of genre and create groundbreaking new sounds while keeping one foot firmly rooted in tradition. Overdriven bassoons, orchestra-backed swing groups, blues-inflected Zydeco, outlandish arrangements of Disney songs, and modern-protest tunes is just a small slice of what you'll hear on our releases, which feature some of today's most forward-thinking and respected artists such as John Hall (Orleans), Steve Gadd, Andy Jaffe, Eddie Gomez, Tony Oxley, Charlie Barnett, Richard Stoltzman, Tony Clef, Mika Yoshida, and many more. Out of the box? With Big Round, there is no box.
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