Getting in the groove: Cultural events June 28 – July 4

Nearly normal? Not quite, but the outlines of a real cultural life are starting to emerge again. In keeping with the season, music has blossomed outdoors. It’s particularly heartening to see festivals in Litomyšl and Český Krumlov forging ahead, albeit with abbreviated schedules. And Lucerna’s move to Výstaviště was inspired, a perfect place for rocking out during a pandemic.


Indoors, it’s a big week for rap, with Ice-T and Body Count bringing the rage to Roxy, and Ca$hanova Bulhar launching a new album at Lucerna.There’s “Rom ‘n’ Roll” from a gypsy band at Jazz Dock, and for more refined tastes, the chamber music series at the Rudolfinum, which pushes the boundaries this week with a brass ensemble. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard a group of trombone and tuba players get wild with “Sixteen Tons.”

Some of the most interesting offerings are at lesser-traveled venues like Chodovská tvrz, a fortress-turned-culture-center in Prague 4, where Austrian jazz star Wolfgang Puschnig is fronting an eclectic trio. And Karlín Barracks (Kasárna Karlín) has launched a full summer schedule of music and movies, which is like frosting on the cake. Even when there’s nothing special happening the Barracks are a great place to hang out, monumental and atmospheric, a living relic of a bygone era.

And kudos to the Karlovy Vary Film Festival for taking its show on the road. The festival had to be canceled, but starting Friday, 16 of the films will be screened at nearly 100 cinemas throughout the Czech Republic. That includes 14 theaters in Prague, so you can catch the best of the fest at reasonable prices without venturing far from home.

Finally, there is a silver lining to the calamitous mishandling of the virus crisis in the United States. While politicians argue about whether to stay in or go out, major cultural institutions like Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame continue to stream first-rate material free online. This week you can catch Julie Taymor’s vivid production of The Magic Flute, and some rare clips of Bruce Springsteen both on and offstage, without ever leaving your couch. It’s unlikely the mess in the US will get sorted out before November, but in the meantime, woke Americans are doing their best to keep audiences worldwide entertained.


Metropolitan Opera: The Magic Flute
Director Julie Taymor’s colorful, imaginative production of Mozart’s magical fairy tale (pictured at top)

A jazzy opening for the chamber music fest in Český Krumlov (Photo: Lubor Mrázek)

Český Krumlov Chamber Music Festival
Music and costumes fill the streets of this gorgeous getaway in southern Bohemia

A message from the mean streets of America (Photo: Dirk Behlau)

Roxy: Body Count & Ice-T
America’s musical reckoning with its racist past takes the stage


Lucerna Music Bar Outdoors: Horkýže Slíže
High-energy rock with a metal backbite and wicked doses of humor

Percussionist extraordinaire Mamadou Diabaté (Photo: Melly Kuefne)

Puschnig – Diabaté – Sass
A percussion-driven excursion into jazz from a unique blend of international talents


Kid-friendly rock from Kašpárek

Whimsical Music Summer: Kašpárek
Good family fun scheduled for the afternoon, so you can bring the kids

Lucerna Music Bar Outdoors: MIG 21
The country’s most popular pop-rock band kicks off three raucous nights at Výstaviště

Live with Carnegie Hall: Daniil Trifonov
A close-up encounter with one of the world’s great young piano players

Sublime sounds for a summer idyll (Photo: Petr Kadlec)

Czech Philharmonic Summer Concert Series: Czech Philharmonic Quartet
At the Rudolfinum, refined chamber music from a virtuoso string ensemble


Jonny Richter at Karlín Barracks
Down-home American blues and gospel in an appropriately gritty setting

Ca$hanova Bulhar album launch at Lucerna Music Bar
A big week for rap continues with the latest solo effort from the Dvojlitrboyzz star


Gala sounds from the Pavel Haas Quartet

Smetana’s Litomyšl
The annual festival in the composer’s birthplace kicks off with a gala concert

Karlín Barracks Summer Cinema: Rescue Dawn
A great choice for the setting, a harrowing war drama by Werner Herzog

Poetry in motion: La Moneta

Flamenco de Sofa: La Moneta
The online dance festival continues with this international star

Czech Philharmonic Summer Concert Series: Low Brass Ensemble
A welcome spotlight on the talented players you never get to see in the back of the orchestra

Let her people go!

UK National Theatre: Les Blancs
A timely drama of colonial revolt from the author of A Raisin in the Sun


Babyteeth opens the traveling Karlovy Vary show

Karlovy Vary Film Festival: Tady Vary
Films from this year’s non-festival are being shown in local cinemas for the next week


The Boss shares a moment with bandmate Steven Van Zandt (Photo: Billboard)

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Spotlight on Bruce Springsteen
Highlights from The Boss’s many performances and speeches at the Rock Hall

Romani rockers and their axes (Photo: Petr Vrabec)

Terne Čhave at Jazz Dock
Put on your dancing shoes for this gypsy band that knows how to rock

Top photo of The Magic Flute by Karen Almond/Metropolitan Opera

Frank Kuznik
Portal Content Writer / Curator / Editor, CitySpy Network, Czech Republic
Frank Kuznik
About Frank Kuznik 10 Articles
Portal Content Writer / Curator / Editor, CitySpy Network, Czech Republic