SLOVCZECH was founded in 2007 by three friends from within the Czech and Slovak community in Minneapolis, Katarina (vocalist), Jozef (acoustic guitar), and Petr (electric guitar and synth). The original goal was to create a band that could entertain at various community gatherings by performing popular music of 20th century Czechoslovakia (CS)
The first official concert was a memorable celebration of Katarina’s birthday. It had all the features of traditional CS “zabava” with dancing, singing, and a few inebriated folks. After this, the demand to perform traditional Slovak and Czech folk music, rather than pop music prevailed. The band started to focus more on folk-rock interpretations of various traditional songs - a style now very popular in various Central European countries.
In 2008, Lubor (acoustic guitar) joined the band and Jozef now started to focus solely on accordion. The repertoire was expanded and SLOVCZECH started to perform at SOKOL Minnesota and Czech and Slovak Culture Center in Minnesota gatherings and celebrations. This included traditional Dozinky Days (Fall Harvest Festival), Easter, and others. At about that time, the band also started to perform at outside venues - such as Czech and Slovak Library Cedar Rapids BREWNOST festival, Milwaukee SOKOL organization, New Prague Dozinky, and Minneapolis Music in the Parks.
In 2009, SLOVCZECH joined Petr’s children's orchestra project, which includes youth from Czech and Slovak communities from the Twin Cities and has since performed traditional CS Christmas Carols yearly on St. Nicholas' Day. In the same year, SLOVCZECH performed at the Festival of Nations (FON). Several CS children joined the band for the FON performances as well.
2010 saw the first major changeover when Katarina left and the three remaining members started a transition from semi-electronic (percussion and bass were played by electronic keyboard) towards a full live band. The first step was recruitment of Aurora (fiddle and vocal), who brought in professional mastery and finesse. Subsequently, Elizabeth (bass and vocal) and Kevan (drums) completed a full live group. This was also the first year, when the US-born musicians joined the band. It proved to be a major boost, providing great additional musician skills, different techniques, and inspirations.
In 2011, the band with a new line up started to perform at various local venues including Acadia, Black Dog Cafe, and Underground Music Cafe, etc…
2014 brought another major lineup change with Aurora leaving to pursue her Master in Music degree and Kevan leaving the band. New major force Emily (fiddle and vocal) brought in Svea (bass and vocal), while Elizabeth relocated to Virginia. Emily and Svea brought in Andrew (drums). With this line up, the band has enjoyed three years of great music, performance at various other venues, joined performances with Orkestar bez Ime, Ukrainian Village Band and a visit to KFAI radio. Lots of fun and camaraderie!
2017 saw the temporary departure of Emily to enrich her music career as a choirmaster in Florence, IT and Lubor's relocation to Colorado to enjoy hiking and nature. Sara (fiddle) joined in Fall of 2017.
2019 was again a game of musical chairs in welcoming back Emily, and after several fill-in drummers, Michael (drums) who although is American, has lived in Poland and Czech Republic.
SLOVCZECH's vision is to continue to share great folk melodies and lyrics blended with contemporary Rock music.