Czech Duo Dazzles Audience
Violinist Jakub Trasak and pianist Jiří Nedoma performed an unforgettable concert, Upbeat Strings, at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage last evening, receiving a standing ovation from the full house in attendance. Cultural Attaché Šárka Vamberová introduced the duo who performed as part of celebrations this year surrounding the 100th Anniversary of Czech Independence. Trasak and Nedoma began the show with their versions of Michael Jackson’s "Why," and Stevie Wonder’s "Sir Duke." Trasak said, “We are 'jazzers' at heart. We like to take well known songs and melodies and make them our own.”
They also performed renditions of such hit songs as Coldplay’s "Viva la Vida," and captured the emotion of such beloved songs as the Beatles’ "Blackbird," and "Ashokan Farewell" from the Ken Burns’ Civil War documentary. Nedoma displayed his talent on the piano through his solo performance of the “Bugatti Step” made famous by 1920s Czech jazz musician Jaroslav Ježek. Trasak blew the audience away with his high tempo version of "Orange Blossom Special."
Through their performance, Trasak and Nedoma took the audience on a journey of some of the most remarkable and influential music of our time. For their encore performance, they beautifully rendered the nuances of Leonard Cohen’s "Hallelujah." Following their performance, guests of all ages lined up to speak with the artists, including young musicians who were mesmerized by their performance.