Tomáš Kačo

From derelict, out-of-tune upright in Nový Jičín to a grand piano in a fully-booked Carnegie Hall; from self-taught musician to one of the best jazz students at the prestigious Berklee College in Boston… The journey of Tomáš Kačo – a pianist endowed with natural talent and immeasurable diligence, but also a composer, singer, and arranger – is a fabulous story of dreams come true. He builds his solo recitals on improvisation, with which he plays out his unique fusion of classics, jazz, and traditional Romani music into inimitable musical landscapes.

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Tomáš Kačo, the fourth of twelve siblings, began playing the piano at the age of five; but his only tuition was his intuition, and he had to understand the principles of play himself. His first introduction to sheet music, scales, and technique was at music school aged twelve. Looking back, he sees the positive side of his freedom in style and technique: “The fact that I started with improvisation and playing by ear was one of my greatest advantages, as far as musical sensitivity goes.” This was followed by studies at Janáček Conservatoire in Ostrava under the renowned Professor Pavel Motloch, whom Tomáš Kačo considers his personal mentor. His key teacher at the Academy of Music in Prague was Professor Ivo Kahánek. He then “squandered” the prize money from a young composers’ competition on his American opportunity – on the entrance exams to Berklee College in Boston, which he completed after two years of study in 2017. He decided to stay on the west side of the Atlantic. Thanks to the open environment of one of the best schools of contemporary music in the world, he could begin to see his Romani descent as an interesting distinction and asset, which was exemplified by the programme of his recital in Carnegie Hall earlier this year in February. Subtitled ‘Gypsy Soul’, the concert was a mix of his own compositions and arrangements of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach and Frédéric Chopin, that is, music that is neither Romani, nor Czech, nor classic, nor jazz – “every listener can take from it what they like.” Tomáš Kačo has performed numerous recitals in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Israel, in Washington, and Los Angeles. He has had a long-lasting collaboration with Ida Kelarová, including their joint 2010 album Romská balada (Romani Ballad), he works with several Czech symphony orchestras, for which he writes arrangements, and he is also working on a long-distance project with Ondřej Brzobohatý. He openly declares that his stay in the United States is not just for his own sake – he wants his proverbial “musical Bio – ©Tomáš Kačo 2018 tenacity” to serve as an example to other Romani children. Although his primary goal is music itself, music unlimited by genre or style, he trusts that it can also prove an effective weapon against racism and can help find common ground between majorities and minorities. An applause-shaken Carnegie Hall is just one of the paths to his dreams fulfilled – the others include releasing an album of his own works and, one day, perhaps, a Grammy. His debut called My Home, which hosts the multiple Grammy winner John Patitucci, Ondřej Gregor Brzobohatý, Kühn's Children's Choir, and Kačo's younger sister Veronika, is released symbolically on October 28, 2018. The Bakala Foundation supported the New Album My Home as well as Tomáš’s study at Berklee. The album was premiered as part of the launch of the cycle Influencers of Resonance, held by C. Bechstein, the biggest European producer of grand pianos.


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