I awaited the evening. Had a specific goal in mind tonight: experience the Prague nightlife. Specifically I wanted to see live jazz. Envisioned an intimate, dimly-lit setting with a giant glass of brew and great musicians on stage. Took the tram downtown. Not too far from the St. Charles Bridge. The spot I was looking for was known as AghaRTA Live Jazz. Group called Emil Vicklicky Trio was playing tonight. I’ve been hooked on jazz since purchasing the soundtrack to Damien Chazelle’s superb debut film “Whiplash”. If you still haven’t seen that film, I personally consider it one of the best films I’ve seen in the last 10 years, easy.
I found the club. But I didn’t immediately enter. I could hear music echoing around the corner, straight ahead. Large crowds of people roaming and shuffling around. As I neared the courtyard, the view opened to a massive stage.
“JazzFest 2015” was displayed on two enormous LED screens on either side of the stage. Jackpot. The artist playing at the time when I arrived switched between jazz and opera every other song. I’m not a particularly huge Opera fan and in-between tracks, the singer admitted that he felt the same not too long ago. Told a story about hearing a particular piece of opera that made him cry semi-recently and it hooked him. Said he sought an opera teacher in New York that same day; She eventually helped dig out that beautiful voice he was belting out tonight.
“Life’s great that way. It’s never too late,” he said before playing the final song of his set. The audience supported his words with applause.
After a brew and a hot dog, I hit AghaRTA. Followed the entry gate which lead to a staircase that descended below ground. Three older gentlemen were drinking by the bar who would later reveal themselves to be the band I was about to see. They were suppose to be on in 2 minutes. Made my way to the main room. Dark and intimate. Cobble stoned walls. Ordered a pint. This was precisely what I had in mind, down to the giant glass of pilsner. I was smiling the entire set.
These musicians played masterfully. The fest outside was fun and relaxing but between the intimate setting and the level of quality pouring out of this trio… This was precision and chaos holding hands and dancing. Jazz appears to be at it’s most riveting when a band jams so cohesively that they elevate each other to a place where the music feels like it could completely fall apart any moment. It gets your adrenaline pumping. Like dancing along the cliff of a 20-story building. What a show. Watching masters own their craft in-person like that inspired me to race home and write. Added six additional scenes to my script plus an idea for an additional script after this one. Prague continues to inspire everyday.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!