Along with AghaRTA Club, Reduta is for many Prague’s most famous jazz club, thanks to its long history. Opened in 1957, it is the oldest jazz venue in the Czech Republic. Before that, theatre performances were staged there and, incidentally, black light theatre, for the first time in Czech history.
The early days, against a backdrop of 1950s communism, weren’t kind to Reduta because the ideology had no time for jazz. Indeed, the Communist Party despised such music as an instrument of imperialism. Thus, young jazz enthusiasts were looking for a place where they could indulge their musical passions undisturbed. According to sources of the time, in 1957 bassist Jan Arnet found the premises in a building on Národní třída. The basement contained an abandoned space that turned out to be ideal for a jazz club.
The club boasts an extremely distinguished history thanks to performers such as Louis Armstrong, Tony Scott, B. B. King, Wynton Marsalis, Chick Core, Dee Bridgewater, the Glen Miller Orchestra, and Marcel Marceau. Famous visitors include Czech and foreign leaders. Former Czech presidents Václav Havel and Václav Klaus liked to visit; in 1994, the then American president and great lover of jazz Bill Clinton played Reduta.
Today, the club often hosts concerts by foreign bands and soloists, but also big bands. You can see the current jazz trios and the 42-member American Youth Jazz Orchestra in action. Young jazz players can perform there as part of the Youth Stage student concert series.
Although Reduta lies in the heart of Prague and thus enjoys great popularity among visitors, it has avoided becoming a tourist trap. The club never fails to treat visitors with respect or maintain the artistic quality of the jazz. At Reduta, jazz isn’t only a musical backdrop for a delicious meal. The goal of nurturing quality is also taken very seriously at the club, and competitions are organised for budding musical talents.
If the jazz somehow wasn’t to your taste, or you arrived when the club was full, next door is the Rock Café club, where you’re sure to find a seat in the upstairs bar.Jan, Avantgarde Prague