Respect Festival is organized by Respekt weekly and Rachot and is held under the auspices of His Excellency Karel Schwarzenberg.

Saturday 21st of June; 3 p.m.
The Skatalites [Jamaica]
Gnawa Impulse [Morocco/Germany]
Amsterdam Klezmer Band [Holland]
Gnawa Halwa [Morocco]
Sunday 22nd of June; 3 p.m.
Achanak [India/England]
Poza [Ukraine/Holland]
Mahala Rai Banda [Romania]
21nd and 22nd of June; 3 p.m.
Prague, Štvanice island

Ticket booking price:
Before 20th of May:
2 days: 380,-
Saturday: 340,-
Sunday: 210,-

After 20th of May:

2 days: 450,-
Saturday: 380,-
Sunday: 250,-

Ticket office:



Poza play street songs from Odessa and other large cities of eastern Europe and Asia Minor. Like klezmer, these tunes bring up memories of a lost era. "Times have changed and these songs are no longer sung," explains Alec Kopyt. "By the late thirties, Stalin had kicked out all the Greeks from Odessa. Soon after that, the Jews decided to move to the New World. And today those songs can only be heard now and then, just one or two, in a Russian restaurant in New York, Sydney or Tel-Aviv."

Gherman Popov performed with Alec Kopyt in his first "Dutch" band, The Children Lieutenant Schmidt, founded on the day they moved to Netherlands. They also worked in the theatre production of Gogol's De Revisor in the Hague, staged by Frans Marijnen. Alec Kopyt's first CD was recorded in Prague and released by French company Playa Sounds.

Alec Kopyt about songs from Odessa:
Ever since I emigrated, these songs, along with the crystal clear, emerald-like sea, the air with its tang of seaweed, the juicy cursing of the fishermen and fishmongers... have been my strongest link with the past. And what about the markets? They say: 'If a nuclear bomb is dropped on Odessa on Saturday, on Sunday it will be on sale at the market!' I have been singing these songs for many years now, because they take me away from this perfectly calculated, though safe, world of sterile supermarkets, genetically manipulated and artificially grown food, television as the ultimate friend, the cook, the lover. I am lucky: these songs are like clockwork in my soul: they make me tick.

Alik Berison, the legendary singer and accordionist, taught me these songs in the early 'seventies. Although he had never been recorded, his popularity in Odessa was enormous. No Jewish wedding in Odessa was considered worthy without the presence of Alik Berison singing his heart out. When I was twelve, I was often invited to such weddings with my parents; there I would see my idol in action. The ability to sing about and laugh at both the wide world and oneself is a gift that is granted only to a chosen few. Alik Berison - the troubadour of Moldovanka, the seediest quarter in town, my birthplace and inspiration - was undoubtedly one of them. In 1975, he was killed in a motorcycle accident. It is hard to describe how shocked the people of Odessa were on hearing the news, and how grand the funeral was, with thousands of fans saying goodbye to Alik Berison.

Odessa - Jewish Music from Russia / Playasound /1997


48x64 mm
300 dpi
(152 K)

<< back