Jan Mazura (1986) is an open-minded freelance composer, arranger and pianist currently based in Prague, Czech Republic, focusing on jazz and various forms of contemporary music. His piece Nuevas Tradiciones was awarded the Best Jazz Composition prize (Nejlepší jazzová skladba) by OSA and Bohemia Jazz Fest in 2018. He is also active as a journalist and a photographer.
Jan holds a degree in Jazz Composition from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, USA and a degree in Piano Performance (jazz and classical) from Jaroslav Jezek Conservatory in Prague, Czech Republic.
Over the years, Jan has written stylistically diverse music for various professional international ensembles and projects including big bands, symphony orchestras, theatre orchestras and medium-size jazz ensembles as well as for spots and YouTube series.
He was a long-time member of a playful jazz quintet Fanfan Tulipan (2009–2017) and a leader of a jazz quintet Emperor Penguin (2008–2011), his own first band. While living in the US, he put together a jazz septet, which performed live and recorded an EP. Jan or the bands he played in have been awarded multiple times in international music competitions (Mladi ladi jazz, Jazz Prix).
Other projects he significantly contributed to include Al Nabi Wal Ghanyah (The Prophet and the Harlot), an epic crossover musical by Lebanese singer Nizar Fares, which was recorded in Los Angeles, New York City and Boston. He also worked with the band U-Prag and Czech directors Štěpán FOK Vodrážka, Jan Vejnar, Veronika Nastoupilova among others.
Besides living in the US for two years, Jan lived in Valencia, Spain for another two years, composing a large flamenco–inspired cycle of music for a big band.
As a pianist he has performed in the US, Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, Austria, Romania and Slovakia on events such as Bohemia Jazz Fest, Jazz Goes to Town, Bratislavske jazzove dny and others.
Besides working as a musician, Jan has been active in various degrees as a music journalist since 2002, contributing album reviews, concert reviews and feature interviews to print and online media in the Czech Republic. The subject of his work is currently only jazz, although it has varied in the past.
Today, he works as the Head of Classical Music and Jazz Desk at the Czech Radio Vltava, a branch of the public service radio.
Throughout his career, Jan has written numerous articles for Lidove noviny, Aktualne.cz, Harmonie, Report and MIX.cz. His interviewees included Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell, John McLaughlin or Karel Ruzicka sr.
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