Jazz in the Heart of Europe


Until 1989, the region of Central Europe was closed due to ideological reasons, and was divided into the musical culture of Eastern and of Western Europe. Because of the socialist cultural politics, the territory of former Czechoslovakia is often incorrectly ranked among the countries of the Eastern Bloc. If we take into account the geographical breakdown of Europe, the musical culture of the Czech Republic and of the Slovak Republic belong to the “heart of Europe”. While, until 1918, the territory of Slovakia had developed cultural ties especially with Budapest and Vienna, Prague had closer contacts with Germany, as well as with other European cities (Paris). At present, from the aspect of developing musical contacts, the region of Central Europe is perceived as a coherent one, consisting of the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Austria, which plays an important role in seeking communication, contacts and managerial connections with other European regions. Slovak jazz, as a representative of the Central Europe region, searches for a network of contacts and partners abroad. All European countries face the same problem when trying to develop managerial networks for jazz but, contrary to Slovakia, they have a longer tradition of jazz festivals, clubs, and jazz personalities.