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  • Monday Nov 18 2013 from 08:00 pm until 10:00 pm
  • American University of Beirut (AUB) - Beirut
  • Arts & Culture, Music

In commemoration of the National Day and the 24th anniversary of the democratic changes in former Czechoslovakia’s 1989 VELVET REVOLUTION, HE Ambassador of the Czech Republic and Mrs. Svatopluk Cumba, HE Ambassador of the Slovak Republic and Mrs. Ivan Surkos, and President of the American University of Beirut Dr. Peter F. Dorman, request the honor of your company at a modern jazz and fashion performance, presented by MILAN SVOBODA QUARTET (featuring special guest, Jana Paulova) and artistic fashion designer GABRIELA GIOTTO, on November 18, 2013, at 8:00 pm, in Assembly Hall. All are welcome.

Originality, uniqueness and beauty still have the magic power to get our attention, though we are overwhelmed every day by commercials, billboards and shops full of average goods. The unique quality of fully-colored and genuine artwork of the fashion designer Gabriela Giotto undoubtedly has magic.
COMBINING ART AND BUSINESS. Before Gabriela Giotto decided to follow her own path and fulfil her dreams, she worked as a senior PR Manager in two international companies, and as Marketing Manager for the multinational Olympic Casino Slovakia. Thanks to this experience she can successfully interconnect art and business. “It is about combining the use of the different qualities of the left and right brain hemispheres. In business, it is important to be creative and empathic in communication. On the other hand, it is essential to stay conceptual in art” says Gabriela Giotto.
MOTIVATION. After many years of exhibiting her paintings she decided to decorate various objects of daily use. “I wanted to approach more people than just a minor group of art lovers. That´s why I started to create my own design brand.” says G. Giotto.

Milan Svoboda – piano, Milan Krajic – sax, Filip Spaleny – bass, Ivan Audes – drums
The group was founded in 1979. Its music is based on the modern jazz style of last century´s sixties and seventies. It is also influenced by rock music, folkloric and contemporary classical music. Svoboda often weaves his compositions into longer theme-based suites, providing space for creative improvisation of all his band members.
The MSQ has been performing throughout most of Europe, as well as the USA, Mexico and India. In June 1991 the MSQ was selected to participate in the First European Jazz Night
- a TV concert of European jazz personalities transmitted from Vienna to 24 countries.
The group produced the following records: "Open The Window Wide", "Dedication", "The Boston Concert" , "Tonight-Tomorrow Morning", Milan Svoboda Q & Tony Lakatos, "Sign of Sagittarius", "Live at the Castle", "Moment´s Notice":
Milan SVOBODA is one of the leading personalities on the Czech musical scene. He gained international renown as a jazz pianist and band leader. His skills span a wide range of styles - jazz, musicals, film, theater and contemporary classical music.
He graduated from the organ class at the Prague Conservatory, studied musicology at Charles' University in Prague and composition at the Prague Academy of Music and at the Berklee College of Music, Boston, USA. In 1974 he founded the PRAGUE BIG BAND. As a conductor and arranger Svoboda later led the Czech/Polish Big Band, which featured the finest soloists of both nations. Currently, he conducts a creative Milan Svoboda Jazz Orchestra - Prague Big Band, and his own Milan Svoboda Quartet. As a composer or conductor, Svoboda also works for theater, musical shows, film and TV. He also composes chamber and orchestral music for classical ensembles and cooperates with leading classical musicians. Since 2006 he has been a conductor and artistic leader of the Rudolfinum Jazz Orchestra. Svoboda works also as Professor of Composition and Jazz Harmony at the Jaroslav Jezek Conservatory in Prague. He also leads the successful Prague Conservatory Jazz Orchestra.
Svoboda has an extensive discography to his credit (28 albums). He worked with many important jazz figures, including James Moody, Maria Schneider, Jerry Bergonzi, Tony Lakatos, Aaron Scott, Phil Wilson, Sonny Constanzo, Victor Mendoza, Sigi Finkel, Jiri Stivin and many others.

1989 Velvet Revolution
24th Anniversary of the democratic changes in former Czechoslovakia
The Velvet (or Gentle) Revolution was a non-violent change of the regime in Czechoslovakia in 1989. After the collapse of the Berlin Wall in October 1989, the direct impuls for the changes in Czechoslovakia came on November 17, when the anti-riot police suppressed a peaceful student demonstration in Prague. That sparked a series of popular demonstrations all over the Czech and Slovak parts of the country. As a symbol of freedom and peace, demonstrators jangled keys and handed out flowers to police.
Witnessing the collapse of other communist governments and increasing street protests, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia soon announced that it would relinquish power and dismantle the single-party political system. Barbed wire and other obstructions were removed from the border with West Germany and Austria in early December, non-communist government was appointed. The “1968 Prague spring,” hero Alexander Dubček, was elected as Speaker of the Federal Parliament and Václav Havel became the President of Czechoslovakia. In June 1990, Czechoslovakia held its first democratic elections since 1946.
2013 marks twenty years since the Czechs and Slovaks peacefully separated and continue to live as citizens of two countries – the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Since 2004, both are member states of the European Union and enjoy excellent bilateral relations.

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