JIRI SEVCIK

Graduated at Pardubice State Conservatory as a conductor and trumpet player. He worked as Pardubice's children choir conductor, musical editor of Radio Panag, and speaker and program director of Radio Life 91,6. He regularly performs as a vocal soloist of Felix Slováček’s Czech national big band, as well as a singer of a few other swing and jazz bands, including his own Pirate Swing band.

In March 2008 he took a part in a Great Britain's „Q Talent“ competition. With his interpretation of swing version of Freddie Mercury‘s song „Crazy Little Thing Called Love“ he won the third best award and also was awarded by jury with the special prize „The Most Entertaining Performance“.

According to that success he was invited to perform as a guest with famous Brian May Band (aka Red Sox) in Bristol, UK. One year later Jiri was honoured by famous american songwriter Richard Currier, who gave him the rights to perform and record (as only european singer) his „New York at Christmas“  song, whitch became an official chrismas song of NYC. In 2011 he was chosen to perform (with his band and their own swing arrangements of Queen songs) a leading musical act  at Freddie Mercury’s birthday party in Montreux, Switzerland. Jiri and his PIRATE SWING Band had a masive success there, Czech  and international media (incl. CNN ) were talking about a sensation. Even the Queen band apparently liked Czechs gig, their official website said: „Czech Republics Jiri Sevcik and The Pirate Swing Band performed and people danced like they were at the Moulin Rouge! What a truly amazing show… Marvellous!“. The offers from foreign countries came instanty and european tour started to seem pretty real… but with not a less media attention home in the Czech Republic. Jiri and his band performed on most watched TV programs, from cooking show to national TV breakfast show and starting to get really wide attention…

To date, he performed in Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, France, Croatia, Switzerland, Tunisia, Egypt, United Kingdom and USA.

THE PIRATE SWING BAND

is Jiri Sevcik‘s band project, joining together 17 top musicians, respected soloists (from philharmonic players to rockers) from all around the Czech Republic. The repertoire of the band is not only swing itself, but mostly their-own-kind-brisk-swing musical arrangements of other musical genres hits (Jackson, Madonna, Police, Queen, Bon Jovi, Nirvana, Oasis, etc.), which is actually very rare and unobvious way – no band in Europe follows this kind of „branch“.

The very important element of all their performances is humour, they believe there’s no entertainment without it. The band first took public and media attention through the pirate roof concert, which was broadcast on main evening national TV news. International attention came with their success at Freddie Mercury's birthday party in Montreux, Switzerland, where they played 80 minutes exclusive "Queen-songs-rearranged-to-swing" gig . Media were talking about sensation and and reputation of the band as a very special and unpredictable swing gang precedes guys everywhere, even on CNN International  TV Channel.

In September 2012 under official approval of Queen PIRATE SWING Band released studio album of their swing arrangements of Queen songs „We Will Swing You! “. Queen’s manager Jim Beach and legendary band itself apparently liked it , Queen office requested 14 (!) piece of the album. The album launching party took a place at the cinema with official premiere of the time-lapse movie  about PIRATE SWING Band, called „Jazz with the Balls“. The godfathers of the „We Will Swing You!“ album were Karel Gott (most famous Czech singer), Felix Slovacek (european swing legend) and Peter Freestone (Freddie Mercury’s former P.A.). Very soon after this success PIRATE SWING Band played a sold-out Czech Republic tour and offered to the fans second album "The Swingsons " with unique swing arrangements of Hollywood classics - from Simpsons to Simon and Garfunkel, Madonna or Michael Jackson. The bonus section of the album gives you a remastered recording of two songs from the concert in Montreux and also a delicacy - house music remixes from DJ Michael C. Another incarnation of musical juggling is just about completed, but of course by that time the PIRATE SWING Band with a brand new program launches their tour. The sold-out shows all over the country are attended by almost three thousand people and the year is crowned by re-defending the position of domestic swing music leaders at the Czech Nightingale and the national airing of their concert from Montreux on the Czech Radio.
The band starts the thirteenth year of the new millennium with a great honor - together with O.  Havelka, L. Mareš, P. Zedníček, M. David and other stars, it is invited to perform at the National Theatre as part of filming for the television gala of Czech Soccer Club Slavia, witch celebrates it‘s 120 years. Their performance (as the only artists playing live) is rewarded by audience‘s (incl. sports legend, footballer Eusebio) warm applause. Winter is again a "busy time" for the swing Pirates - its special show adorns the social event of the year - Media Ball - and the band shines at a few other galas, contrary to the following summer concert season, when they show also their artificial face at jazz festivals. In early June, the Swing Pirates credited to their account another success - their album "We Will Swing You!" is very highly praised by the band Queen on its official website, which is soon noticed by Czech media and by the most prestigious manufacturer of microphones, Sennheiser, which officially quotes Jiří and the band as a reference.
And because the energy should be balanced, the boys decide to say thank you. To all and especially to their hometown Pardubice with a special free concert. It takes place on the 18th June and the  swing party in Pernštýnské Square with eight hundred enthusiastic people ends long after the "police hour". Jiří celebrates his birthday and looks back, but another audacious idea is already blooming in his head – two pre-Christmas galas with unexpected guests, a light show and a new repertoire. So, the band, together with Peter Kotvald, Leona Machálková and the mixed choir Continuo, locks itself in the rehearsal  room, determined to show what nobody has tried - namely, guests will be (exactly in the style of the band) singing rock songs with the Pirates in swing arrangements (from the Beatles to D'Arby) and there are also plans for duets: Jiří Sevčík will perform "Material Girl" with Leona Machálková  and Leona with Peter Kotvald, beware - a duet from Dirty Dancing. It is a big premiere for all performers, Petr Kotvald has never sung with a big band before.
Seeing the posters, several Czech musicians shake their heads, not believing that something like this could work. But not the audience - the "PIRATE SWING Band Gala" concerts are sold out long in advance. The show with nearly 60 performers, costumes and stage effects is attended by more than a thousand spectators in Pardubice  and Hradec Králové  and the band (this time on stage) is again surprised by Peter Freestone comes in person to present the Gold Record for the "We Will Swing You!" album. Wow! Christmas 2013  is again a time full of joy and success, registered not only by the (already more forgiving) musical community, but also the media  and organizers - in the following February, the band appears in the list of 20 most interesting domestic musicians (along with Karel Gott, Desmod and others) at the Prestige Ball of Czech and Slovak Republic at Prague's Municipal House. Promoters of rock festivals are developing a taste for the "Pirates" as well, Pirate swing boys appear at five rock festivals in 2014, which is a decent score for a swing band, isn’t it? :-) It is even improved by the multimedia special "one night only" project - Cinemaconcert for Pardubice  with free admission. At the crowded main square of its hometown, the band plays by the giant silver screen, on which not only a time-lapse documentary about the band is presented to the public, but the whole show is also accompanied by pre-recorded videos, combined with animations and live cameras. The crowded square is roaring and ends long after the "police hour“ again. The great success is also reflected in the media, but by that time the band is already in a studio - a new album will see the light of the day after two years. It is called"PLAYLIST"and offers thirteen new tracks from the swing Pirates, with appearances of Pardubice Conservatory Symphony orchestra, mixed choir Continuo and star guests: Petr Kotvald , Josef Laufer and Jiří Lábus. The band is very proud of the writer’s contribution of Mr. Robbie Williams for this album, as well as of the Czech lyrics by legendary Pavel Cmíral. Luxury, hand made digipack with gildings contains comprehensive booklet and DVD disc with band documentary, three new video clips and more. Following series of pre-christmas concerts "PIRATE SWING Band Gala 2014 " is sold out again, this time with Czech legend Josef Laufer, comedian Ester Kocickova, pop star Petr Kotvald and Pardubice Conservatory Symphony orchestra appearances . Another very busy and succesful year is over then… but the plans for 2015 and beyond are already on the table…

The tour for the new album can't wait, so the pirate swingers launch into realizing new plans at the beginning of January 2015! They diligently rehearse new songs, but simultaneously also a new type of performance – ball showtime with corresponding new dance repertoire. Although being a non-ball ensemble, as true natives of Pardubice they are delighted to accept an offer  made by Martin Charvát, Mayor of the City of Pardubice, and in the city with a half of a horse in its emblem, they become the main musical body at the greatest event of the season – the shiny City Ball in the East Bohemian Theatre. For this evening, its hall is transformed into a real "ballroom" – the auditorium is removed, people dance on stage, and the band invites a proven special guest Josef Laufer, who performs some newly rehearsed songs – from "New York, New York", up to "Just A Gigolo" or "Rock Around The Clock". The black tie audience applauds and Peter Freestone, former personal assistant of Freddie Mercury, declares  that the last time he experienced such an "opera ball" was in London some 20 years ago. It is confirmed on the front page of Deník daily  and the Pirates get another successfully conquered challenge  under their belt. In a few months, this will bring them something big, but they do not have a clue yet… Actually, the starting date of the regular tour for the "PLAYLIST" album is getting closer and the restlessness is understandable. However, the meticulous work pays off – on the tour with a new programme, PIRATE SWING Band travels the length and breadth of the Czech Republic and plays for more than three thousand excited spectators from Kraslice to Nová Paka (together with Josef Vojtek and In Flagranti). They contribute to a good cause at a charitable "Concert for Rebeka", proceeds from which are donated to children with the so-called Butterfly Disease. Later, the band gives up its fee once again, and for a very good reason.

June 2015 marked exactly five years since the legendary first concert on the roof of the East Bohemian Theatre  (yes, the boys already performed inside as well), which deserves a proper pirate birthday party! To thank for the support of its home city and region, PIRATE SWING Band calls together  all its supporters to the Pernštýn Square for 16th June. As the opening evening show of the "Zrcadlo umění" festival, at the stroke of nine, so far the biggest multimedia show of the Pirates starts. During the "Concert for Pardubice" they use large LED walls, live cameras, various effects and also a synchronized video sequences together with archive video highlights of the most important events in those five years. There is no admission charged, and there is even a birthday cake in the style of three band's albums prepared for the audience. It weighs 26 kg and is counted for thousand servings. "There is no way people are going to eat that," say band members and look forward to home cake feasts after the concert. Far from it! After the first cut by VIP guests on stage – Martin Charvát, Mayor of the City of Pardubice, Peter Freestone, personal assistant of Freddie Mercury, and Leona Machálková, the special guest of the night – the giant cake quickly melts in mouths of fans and there is not a crumble left! Only after the performance of Leona Machálková (with whom Jiří Ševčík sings two new duets) it shows, how it's even possible. According to official information, the attendance record was broken ! Only a few people are missing at the square to reach the jokingly mentioned aim of thousand spectators. During the 15 years of the festival, no other event recorded such massive interest of audience not only from Pardubice. And in such a cold, ouch. Thank you very much, Pardubice ! Together we deserved  that front page of Deník daily, didn't we? The summer begins, the time of idling, one would say. No, no. As soon as the Pirates presented their new programme, they already rehearse other repertoire news and maybe as a reward for their diligence, the year full of new challenges and surprises prepares for them an unexpected bonus in its third quarter. It comes in the form of an offer to be included on British CD compilation of the best EU performers for a contest of dance professionals. From the band's catalogue, the British label chooses a swing arrangement of "It's My Life " by Bon Jovi, and on the cover presents it as an ideal competition slowfox. The album is called "Very Ballroom II.", is released on 25th September in all EU countries and for the first time features Czech band! So, when the Pirates showed they can also play to dance in the spring, they laid the foundations of this success. Of course, this fact did not pass unnoticed by Czech media and (otherwise restrained) MF Dnes daily comes with a large profile interview with Jiří Ševčík. "Dancing with the Pirates", that's how you could call another spring co-operation of the band, this time with a renowned DJ Michael C. After previous remixes of "Star Wars Imperial March" and "I Was Born To Love You" (released on "The Swingsons" album), he now releases a club remix of one of the songs in the introductory collage on "PLAYLIST" album, "Celluloid Swing Swag - Le Gendarme et les Extras-Terrestres " by Raymond Lefévre. But the time flies and so far the most frantic year for both the band and Jiří brings another offer from the "we did not expect this" category – a chance to perform at the Prague Castle. Together with Dae Men power acrobats, actors and other artists they present themselves in several individual blocks and win the praise of the audience (this time precariously composed of high-ranking diplomats and businessmen) as if incidentally. They stay on top of things and next week they give a special concert with Josef Laufer and Jolana Voldánová in the Hradec Králové Philharmonic Hall and three other private shows. However, the merry-go-round doesn't stop. Uff! Thank you, but it's been a lot! So, now quickly set the alarm clock and go live  on Snídaně s Novou morning show! One the most popular television channel, the Pirates present the news, have a good gossip, announce a competition for their current "PLAYLIST" album and DVD, but above all invite their fans to the third season of "PIRATE SWING Band Gala" concerts. The preparations for these special shows in 2015 are the most exhausting ever and require tens of hours of autumn rehearsals  in Dubina Cultural House. But before long, frequent secret trips of celebrities  to Pardubice are put to good use.

"When the Pirates dress up, it is worth seeing!", say press reviews of special "PIRATE SWING Band Gala 2015" shows in December. These have already become an inherent part of cultural live in Pardubice and Hradec Králové, there is no other explanation for the blisteringly quick sellout of tickets for both concerts. In addition, official places in Pardubice include the show in so-called "Traditional and important events", together with Velká pardubická steeplechase or the Golden Helmet (!), and we should point out, that the third season of Pirate Galas represents a real golden hat trick. It has never happened before hat both shows would be hopelessly sold out even before promotional wave and billposting. It has never been necessary to increase the capacity due to enormous interest. And never before did the fans have to buy tickets for the Pirates three months in advance. With all the greater responsibility and meticulousness, the band was rehearsing  a brand new repertoire, costumes and properties, including specially written musical arrangements for this year's guests . It is an enormous amount of fresh repertoire, all the more so as for the first time each show has a different main guest. In Pardubice , the band proudly welcomes swing legend Felix Slováček, who accompanied by the ensemble serves the audience with enormous assurance and virtuosity a swing version of "Starting Over Again" by Donna Summer, Morricone's hit from "Once Upon a Time in the West" movie, or devilishly hard "Clarinet Marmalade". He receives a standing ovation already in the first half of the evening. Yes, he stole the show. In Aldis in Hradec Králové, "Czech Mr. Rock n' Roll" Petr Vondráček rises to the occasion with his typical humour and professionalism, and describes the stage co-operation with Jiří Ševčík as "boys in action". In "Tutti Frutti" by Little Richard he performs such a piano solo that some in the audience say in the lobby it "definitely must have been a playback". The subsequent euphoria of the audience, caused by songs "Kiss" (Prince) and "Blame It on the Boogie" (Jackson 5) with special arrangements for Petr only confirms how excellent this multitalented singer and pianist is. The same holds true for actor and singer Iva Pazderková. In the first half of the show, as a "dumb blonde", she gives the audience a lecture on jazz and swing, current issues of Pardubice and Hradec Králové, and Christmas. She also performs her own carol with a festive theme on ukulele…  it has been long since the two cultural temples have experienced such bursts of laughter, when plaster in halls was almost falling off. Let alone the moment when she presents herself (already as herself) as a singer! She ordered with the band swing arrangements of a rock hit "Are You Gonna Go My Way" by Lenny Kravitz and a pop classic "Povídej" by Petr Novák, but let's forget the original waltz, this is proper lounge swing with four beats! After all, it is served the whole evening from their new musical menu by the Pirates themselves, Jiří Ševčík even dusts off his trumpet after twenty years for the intro of the classic "Mack the Knife". The new show, supplemented by new costumes, choreography, sound system, light design, stage design and various effects, offers among others a tap dance song "Puttin' On The Ritz" by Irving Berlin, a new song "Swing náš vezdejší" with Czech text written directly for Jiří Ševčík by legendary Pavel Cmíral, a surprise swing metamorphosis of the 90s rock hit "Creep" (Radiohead), melted into a Broadway act with a spangly tailcoat and a stick, or a legendary song "Jožin z bažin" by Ivan Mládek, sung in Polish ("Józek z bagien"). Applause after applause, song by song, black-light theatre during the inward piece "The Christmas Song"… here comes the climax, the grand finale. All performers sing together the (originally Israeli) final song "Hallelujah" and while receiving deafening standing ovation, in the torrent of confetti, they thank, and thank, and thank… "It was a night to remember ", wrote the papers about Gala Concerts 2015  and other cities showed interest in organizing them in the future. After all, the whole year 2015 was totally worth it!

Should the saying "As you do on New Year's Day you will do all year" be true, there would have been a troublesome 2016 for the Pirates.  They meet up in January, on the occasion of a special performance with Leona Machálková   in Trutnov. In the morning of the concert day, however, heavy snowfall covered the whole country, the media advised to leave cars at home, but it couldn't be helped. The UFFO centre  offers a welcoming warmth and the showtime  full of newly rehearsed duets with Leona is a success. However, the same evening produces also one accidental meeting, which will be later put to good use. In the corridor, Jiří Ševčík meets another guest of the event, Ondřej Ruml. He praises the PIRATE SWING Band, says he never heard any Czech big band play such music, and a possible co-operation "some time in the future" is also mentioned. But you know how it goes, people talk and water flows. This was a different case, but all in good time. Motivated by last year's success on the ball field, the Pirates again accept the invitation of the mayor of Pardubice to be the main musical body at the glossy Representative ball of the city of Pardubice at the East Bohemian Theatre. However, this time it is not enough to rehearse new dance songs – the band has to accompany Jitka Zelenková during her 50-minute-long (!) performance. The ensemble will have to earn new spurs as a backing band. Learning such a long new repertoire during one rehearsal is no laughing matter. But the minute Jitka Zelenková meets up with the Pirates at Dubina Community Center one spring Sunday, both her and band member's professionalism is immediately evident. The star is happy  even "on the first go" (!) and instantly shares this fact with her fans on her official Facebook page.

But in March, "big delight" (as Jitka writes on her FB) does not meet only her. One week later, Jiří Ševčík is enlisted by the National Library of the Czech Republic among "important figures of the Czech Republic" and for the second time the Pirates get a chance to be present on a CD compilation of the best of the EU. This time, the Brits chose the pirate boyband in a swing version of Billy Joel's hit "Uptown Girl ". A few days later, Jiří sings  without his band at the prestigious Ball of Air Navigation Services of the Czech Republic, and as if there were not enough honours already, a week later he quivers with delight. The famous guitarist of the Queen, Brian May (with Kerry Ellis ), is coming to Prague , and Jiří is invited to the backstage as a VIP. The following meeting  is almost moving, and even though Jiří and Brian had met several times before and produced an album together with the Queen, it is again a big honour. May is interested in the current Pirates CD, gets it, but it is already too late and the production team orders him to leave. The crew in the backstage, comprising Peter Freestone (former personal assistant of Freddie Mercury), Kerry Ellis, Brian May and Jiří Ševčík, starts out through the dark corridors to the only exit. A crowd ot May's fans is already waiting outside, desperate for an autograph. The automatic door opens and a lady with a cap jumps to the group and enthusiastically shouts: "Wow, Mr Ševčík, could you give me an autograph?" The rest of the crew led by May is taken by surprise (no wonder), but Jiří (although shocked) signs a ticket to the British legend's concert, and then two more. Probably someone from Pardubice, but nobody can take this experience away from him. Poor Brian May. :-)

But there is no time to enjoy the fame, the grand ball at the theatre is just around the corner. This year, Jiří and the band find themselves in a really good company – the evening is hosted by famous Marie Retková, Dae Men and Jam&Bazaar perform their shows, but the main task of a four-hour-long performance lies on the shoulders of the PIRATE SWING Band. The ensemble copes with classic swing, Latin songs, rock and roll and their own costumed rock/swing specialties. The audience even calls for some other famous Pirate pieces, even though these were not on the list for the evening. But on the stroke of ten, the lights go dark and the star of the ball enters the stage. Jitka Zelenková, accompanied by our boys from Pardubice, serves the audience not only the biggest hits of her career, from chansons like "Muž a žena" to "Mít svůj kout". The show is a success, Jitka thanks the band… and yes, also publicly on Facebook . Her guest appearance also produced another new song in the band's repertoire! When the band's arranger Radek Škeřík found out in winter, that the ensemble will accompany her, he suggested her legendary smash hit "Mame/ Mňau" (a famous piece of three Czech female singers), saying we would arrange it for her for the ball. So, Jiří immediately called Jitka, even though the song was dismissed… and an idea was born. This would be a smash for the pirate boyband, which also has three singers (but male)! The lyrics would just require rewriting into the third person and it would be a tribute to all the women in the audience! It took only about 10 minutes to turn words into action and the cheerful new song came into the world. However, it will have to wait several more months for its first presentation and special choreography.

But the waiting of Ondřej Ruml to join the action was over. In April, Jiří goes to Prague and invites him to be a special guest of the Gala Concerts in 2016. The coffee in Lucerna palace  brings about a very pleasant surprise – Ondřej agrees and orders special swing arrangements of rock songs, which he will perform with the band in December. He also suggests a duet "Me And My Shadow", which he wants to sing with someone for years. So, Czech lyrics are ordered with the famous lyricist Pavel Cmíral. Dusting off old contacts produces a coffee in Lucerna no. 2, this time with Tonya Graves . Both singers are very soon on the same page, choose songs to be arranged, though Tonya starts demanding country music. This style does not like the wind instruments too much, yet six months later "Jolene" and other chosen hits make the playlist of Gala Concerts. You may remember that last year, they were introduced live on Skype by Lisa Simpson, or more precisely her Czech voice actor Helena Štáchová. However, during Jiří's call of thanks for this successful co-operation, she said: "Should you come up with anything in the future, feel free to give me a call." Jiří was struck by an idea straight away. Actually, Mrs. Štáchová is also the voice of Mánička (famous Czech puppet) and director of the Theatre of Spejbl and Hurvínek. And in 2016, Hurvínek (the most legendary Czech puppet character) celebrated his 90th birthday. The celebration (together with the Pirates) suggested itself. As it turned out, not only would Hurvínek be the third special guest, but the Pirates would add the third Gala Concert, in Prague, at Hurvínek's place in Prague's Dejvice. That should do for the guests, now to the new repertoire. The choice, for example, fell on swing adaptations of Lady GaGa, Maroon 5, Michael Jackson, Ivan Mládek, the title song from The Octopuses from the Second Floor TV series, Karel Gott stuff in German language, and… David Bowie. However, in this case it will be more about jazz and a huge respect, bucause this icon unexpectably died. Jiří's idea does not initially provoke a positive response. It is a very slow piece, something the Pirates have never tried before, atd. But the singer is clear about this – most of the song only by voice and bass guitar, gradually adding piano, trumpet with a mute, drums, and finally including trombones and saxophones. The finale on full volume and light, which will gradually gain intensity starting with complete darkness. In the end, everything works together almost magically (more about this later). However, the road to the actual magic on stage was very long. The PIRATE SWING Band has never taken up so many new pieces and never were they so difficult. Jiří learns to beatbox, thinks up stage effects, costumes  and choreography… and attends some other creative coffee meetings. At the same time, the Pirates are preparing a new album and every song should be performed be a different singer – all artists who mean something in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The record will come to life in the UK and will be produced by a world-known legend Mike Moran (Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, George Harrison, Ozzy Osbourne, Rod Stewart and others)… but first things first. It's still March and apart from polishing new pieces, the band also needs to perform. In proved tandems, the band performs two special shows: at the East Bohemian Theatre with Jolana Voldánová , and shortly afterwards also an open-air show with guest star Felix Slováček . Traditionally, they also please their home crowd under the open sky – for the seventh time, they give the city a free show "Concert for Pardubice ", as a thankyou for its support. This time, however, the Pirates have to pass a new acid test: firstly, the show takes place at an intersection in the city centre; secondly, they will be supported by two rock bands; and thirdly: our boys shall take the stage at midnight! Slight worries are understandable, a crowd of several hundred beer-refreshed hard rock fans do not seem to be interested in swing. But wait – far from it, and our apology! Although it is impossible to steal the show from "Sabrage" and "Sto zvířat" bands, it did happen! The show ends after 1:30 a.m. and the positive feeling of the swingers is confirmed by the papers the very next morning – despite all challenges, the show was a big success ! In no time a video of the performance is released, the band gains a temporary rise of interest, the ensemble welcomes a fan number 1000, who receives its complete discography, nad tries another "first". A smaller PIRATE SWING Band ensemble is established – a jazz quintet with more artificial repertoire – and it immediately achieves success! It performes on a boat  and also during a posh swing gathering in the Tyršovy sady park, but back to the rehearsal room , Gala Concerts are approaching! Arrangements for Tonya Graves and Ondřej Ruml get their final shape, Jiří creates a duet, and writes a dialogue scene for himself and Hurvínek . And the time comes to bring all this to light . A staged promotional video clip for the concerts is shot  at the Prague's Theatre of Spejbl and Hurvínek, and Hurvínek himself gets the lead role! This video takes the social networks by storm and is soon joined by one more video … or two, actually. The Latin American Star Wars fan club chose the version by PIRATE SWING Band from "The Swingsons" album as its theme music, and students from the University of California rehearse a choreography   for the same recording. Of course, this surprise from overseas is noticed by the media, who publish an article titled "Swing Pirates from Pardubice conquered Latin America ". In fact, at the time they are conquering festival stages, and with the promotion of this year's Gala Concerts also the media . Český rozhlas broadcasts a 60-minute show about the band  and three invitations, Hitrádio Magic invites Jiří as a VIP guest to its Morning Show, also stations like Frekvence 1, Evropa 2 or Rádio Blaník invite listeners to the Gala Concerts, MF Dnes newspaper  is interested in Hurvínek, a long article with an extensive photo gallery and video is brought by the Blesk daily , Happy Season web portal presents a comprehensive profile interview , as well as music and entertainment  web portals and printed media , and for the first time, the ensemble catches the attention of Slovak media, an overview of its work is brought for example by the "Nový Populár " magazine. Also a special web application  for tablets and smartphones was created, the beginnings of the upcoming Gala tour are recorded  for a film documentary, and here comes autumn. The final stage of rehearsals. This time, also special guests come to Pardubice to meet the Pirates , and they also get in front of the camera in a staged Video invitation no. 2 . The attendance of stars from Prague is naturally noticed by the press, who run interviews with Ondřej  and Tonya . The planned Gala Concerts are also adopted by the Theatre of Spejbl and Hurvínek, famous microphone producer Sehnheiser or the city of Pardubice, which posts an invitation on its official FB page.

"Everybody knows it costs nothing to sing and play" – althogh the lyrics of the final song at the Gala Concerts are not entirely true (on the contrary, the band has to work extremely hard), the result exceeds all expectations! Ševčík and company enter the same (and yet different) "Gala" river for the fourth time, and although last year's bar was hard to beat, they again achieve a resounding success. And probably the biggest in its history. Because as we already know, apart from traditional Pardubice and Hradec Králové, they added a third city – Prague, with a show "on their own hook", on so far unconquered soil. With some concerns, the band takes the Theatre of Spejbl and Hurvínek , but any worries about Prague audience, which "has already seen everything", are soon vanished. The traditional artistic preconception just doesn't take place, and on the contrary, the Pirates perform perhaps the most successful concert  of their career. "Perfect, simply perfect and well-built," says swing mastermind Felix Slováček to the press , after watching the Prague Gala from the first row. But he is not alone, the seat next to him is taken by the charismatic Josef Laufer: "They are unbelievable! It just has the energy. It is better than Czech America… it is America!" Actually, the audience is full of legends  – other unexpected and honoured guests  include an iconic lyrics writer Pavel Cmíral: "This is how it should be, today, after many, many years, we really have America in Prague."; hit maker Zdeněk Barták: "They are simply amazing and do their music splendidly, also with great humour."; director Vojtěch Nouzák or famous artist Lukáš Fibrich. And although light nervousness can be felt before the concert (full of many "firsts") begins, the Prague theatre reportedly has not experienced such applause for a very long time. The fourth pirate gala-voyage earns standing ovation and encores directly at their first stop, in the spotlight of national media (e.g. Blesk daily published an extensive video report  about the concert). However, all this was preceded by several months of rigorous work. As every year, musical arrangements are tailor-made just for this occasion, and special guests don't make it easy for the arranger Radek Škeřík. For example Tonya Graves  craved a "pirate" interpretation of a country song "Jolene" (Dolly Parton), a megahit of the 80s "Young Americans", or a contemporary endorphine smasher "Happy ". During this probably most effective song of the night, apart from the impressive stage design , a new effect is used – e.g the main hall at the Aldis Congress Centre in Hradec Králové si completely filled with bubbles from a special bubble maker and standing ovation is thus earned at the beginning of the show. How can you beat this in the second half of the evening? No worries! The second guest, Ondřej Ruml , ordered a swing version of the song "Budu všechno co si budeš přát" by Janek Ledecký, a difficult piece "Šaty dělaj člověka" by Jaroslav Ježek, and "Roxanne" by The Police. At Ševčík's request, he also adds a unique solo block with a looper (divece capable of layering short sound loops in real time), and the audience is charmed by songs "Hit the Road, Jack" and Czech folk song "Skákal pes". However, the latter is performed in reverse, which transforms it into some kind of Hungarian folk song, accompanied by vocals of two opera female sopranos from Budapest. Also their parts are masterfully performed  by Ondřej himself and the audience goes wild. Literally… and a little bit more during a new duet of Ondřej Ruml and Jiří Ševčík "Já a můj stín ", with brilliantly written Czech lyrics for the two of them by Pavel Cmíral. But the best is still to come!

Probably the biggest legend (apart from the Maestro, Karel Gott, of course), who has ever shared the stage with the band, is still waiting for its act. Hurvínek , celebrating his 90th birthday, not only convinces the audience that he "only looks to be eight", but is maybe the only one who has ever moved the visitors of the Pirates' concert to tears both of joy and emotion. His short scene  with Jiří Ševčík "warmed all hearts" according to the press, and the applause after their duet (swing version of "Víc než přítel tvůj" ) clearly proves, who "stole the show" this year. At the concert in Prague, the puppet is accompanied by its dog friend Žeryk, but the great reaction of the audience is by no means different from the other cities. However, tears are falling one more time, during (for the Pirates unusually serious) a tribute to music legends that passed away in the previous year. A symbolic greeting to heaven sounds in the shape of a jazz version of the song by one of these late legends – David Bowie. "Ševčík's spotlight performance  in the innermost jazz version of "Life On Mars?" literally took audience's breath away" (as reported by the media) and earned probably the most thunderous applause the singer has ever heard. But this perhaps the most powerful moment of the show  is also a reflection of the state of the world. The lyrics deal with false reality created by the media, and are thus more relevant than ever before. Also the singer's stand-up acts between songs are seasoned with his reactions to current affairs. From the spontaneously performed song "Každá TRUMPota má svou mez", through the Advent English lesson in a capella version of Ivan Mládek's piece "Jez" (Yes), to uproarious laughter caused by his monologue about growing up in the 80s. Magical atmosphere , bursts of laughter, applause after applause, brilliantly reacting audience drawn into the story and singing with the Pirates at the top of their lungs, a member of the Parliament broadcasting the concert live on Facebook on his phone, loud and excited shouting of legends Slováček and Laufer during the show, a discovery that the mayor of Pardubice, Martin Charvát, used to wear a T-shirt with Sandokan, and that his secretary Jakub Rychtecký is nicknamed "Tarzan"… and much more. Such were the sold-out Gala Concerts of PIRATE SWING Band in 2016, which repeatedly raised  almost two thousand excited spectators from their seats in Prague , Pardubice  and Hradec Králové . And they are the ones the Pirates annually prepare a new repertoire of swing arrangements to rock and pop songs for – if you didn't make it this year, these included "a combination, which even TV cook could not come up with" – famous "Billie Jean" mixed with "Moves Like Jagger", "Bad Romance" hit by Lady GaGa (during which the audience became a choir of several hundred people), through "Ein Kessel Buntes" in Gott's German hit no. 1 "Babicka ", to the great Broadway finale "Mame", performed by the pirate boyband , whose members gave roses to women in the audience (do you remember how Zelenková refused to sing this song?). "It was literally a carpet bombing by positive emotions. The Pirates again proved they can offer a real show  with all the trimmings, which does not lack great music and a healthy dose of humour, and the audience leaves the concert "Happy" even without Pharell Williams.", said one of the reviews  in the press. After the shows, the band is literally swamped with the strongest wave of excited reactions  and tweets  so far, the mayor of Pardubice thanks the band for its great show on his official FB, and he is not alone. The band's name temporarily becomes the most searched term beginning with "P" within Czech internet, short documentary movie  (mobile devices version here ) about the Gala concerts is released, which means… it probably was a success. Thank you for the whole year ! And see you again 2017 with new Pirate adventures!

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