I am leaving the metro in Holešovice to catch the tram 12 with a friend of mine to get to Švandovo Theatre, where we take a walk through Arbesovo square to Janáčkovo Nábřeží.
We are passing Malostranské Náměstí, noticing strange individuals, who usually appear only in the evening.We get off at Švandovo Theatre, realizing we are hungry, even though we ate before we left for the concert. Anna and I make it to Arbesovo Square, where we go to Tesco Express to buy some food before the concert starts. Finished with food 15 minutes later, we realize we still have 45 minutes, so we find a bar and go for a glass of wine.
Although we leave the bar 30 minutes later, we realize the air is colder – it is the end of September, and we underestimated the evening weather and dressed quite lightly. Heading to Jazzdock, we pass through Malátova street, heading down to Janáčkovo Nábřeží. First, we are unable to find the club, but we quickly orientate ourselves and are inside the club within two minutes.
I say my name at the door to prove I have reserved two tickets and we are let in. We look around, find a bar and order two mojitos. After some time, a group of four loud girls enters Jazzdock; unfortunately, they remain loud for the rest of the concert, and we are slightly annoyed by it.
Jazzdock’s newly built modern building with a combination of indoor and outdoor seating at the river’s bank; its concept is unique and is probably previously non-existent in Central Europe. In the case of heavily attended events, the tables are put aside and the whole floor is available for visitors.
The concert of Iván Gutiérrez, who is also a professor at AAU, and his band Madera is supposed to start within 5 minutes; however, it delays about 10-15 minutes, so Anna and I go to buy a second mojito. We fill the time with chatting about everything that comes across our minds. There is a long line at the bar, but the barmans are quick, so it is soon our turn.
While being served, we look around once again and find the place is more crowded than before. We also notice Madera members, getting ready at the stage for the concert. In the meantime, we are trying to find a proper place with a nice view on the stage, so we can properly see them and enjoy the concert.
We can see Madera is ready to perform. Tadeáš Mesany is ready with his bass, David Landštof (currently playing with Xindle X, Enernal Seekers; he has been working with Lenka Dusilová for 10 years) with his drums and Iván Gutiérrez (known for his cooperation with Zuzana Navarová), the singer, sits down with a guitar as the band is ready to perform. The genre Madera plays is post-latin urban folk.
After Iván greets the audience, the concert can start. The audience is comfortably seated in the chairs and listening to Iván. They start chatting after a while and simultaneously listen to Iván. The three loudest girls are annoying us, so Anna and I go to the bar to buy a bottle of water and change the place.
Iván starts singing slow songs, all in Spanish. Although I have Madera’s album Jardín Amurallado, I can recognize only some songs from it; the rest of the songs are either from Iván’s older albums, or borrowed from other artists. Since I know some Iván’s older songs too, I indeed do enjoy them.
As soon as the first notes of the song Cara en un sueño (a Face in a Dream) sound in the club, I become excited because this song is a favorite song of mine from Madera. The end of the song is marked with the applause, as it is with all other songs. When Ivan sings El Otoño, the audience in the back (including me) is dancing to the song’s rhythmic parts. Another rhythmic song, Al Amar Al Sol, followed, and the audience was quickly taken in.
Iván Gutiérrez is considered to be the creative source of Madera. He is inspired by the music he listens to, and regarding the lyrics, by the texts he reads. The music he makes references to to the big cities around the world, where people from various cultures meet. The genre can be characterized as post-latin urban folk. Ivan Gutierrez established the band with Tadeáš Mesany. The lyrics of the songs usually portray concepts such as life and love. Apart from other styles, Madera’s music is also inspired by nueva canción and rock.
Tadeáš Mesany, the bass player, works as a professional musician; he has played in bands such as Šum Svistu, Marcipán, Sin Rumbo covering genres such as folk, tango, jazz and classical. He is the co-founder of the Madera band.
David Landštof is the drummer and percussionist. He has been a professional musician since 2001, often alternating between different genres. He is often a guest player in groups. He has worked with many famous names, including Aneta Langerová, Pavel Bobek, Michal Hrůza, Daniel Landa, Tomáš Klus just to name a few. From the foreign interprets, he played with Charlie McCoy or Tony Trishka (both US).
Ondřej Kabrna studied at Jaroslav Ježek’s Jazz Conservatory, graduating in 2000. In 1999, he started to teach there. He received a solid foundation of Jazz from Jiří Růžička, who trained him. He is currently a member of groups such as Ondřej Kabrna Trio-Timeways Project, Petr Kroutil Deborgia, Luboš Andršt Group and Jana Kloubková Kvartet.
Madera in Jazzdock created an impression of a well coordinated group creating a calm and friendly atmosphere with a taste of the post-latin genre. The group is unique with their chosen genre – Madera’s songs bring the audience into a good, conversational mood. Overall, the atmosphere is relaxed and enjoyable, the small size of the venue also plays a role.
Moreover, the fact that group members have known each other for a long time and are good friends only strenghthens the friendly environment of the club and reflects in their relaxed perfomance; the relaxed mood is then transferred to the audience. The combination of the small venue and the relaxed atmosphere created by the Madera members and Iván’s songs made the concert an unforgettable experience. The concert climaxed with the song Mirada fija, where the audience (especially in the back) began to dance. Námořnická, which was originally sung with Zuzana Navarová, concluded the concert.
We leave the concert with a feeling of satisfaction, passing by Švandovo Theatre across Malostranské Náměstí, shortly after 1 a.m. to take a taxi home. I felt that everyone who was at Jazzdock enjoyed it because I could see it in their faces. The walk through the nocturnal Prague only emphasized our positive impression from the concert, as we walked the nearly empty streets and discussed the event. I asked myself a question: ”Who can say that he has a teacher, who sings in a band?” Madera impressed me again.