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Bluegrass band Druha Trava to perform

Druha Trava will perform Friday, Oct. 4 in Park Rapids.

Druha Trava, the bluegrass band from the Czech Republic, will return to Park Rapids for a concert at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4 at the Park Rapids Area High School auditorium.

Since Druha Trava’s last concert here in October 2011, the band has received the equivalent of the Czech Grammy in the Country Music category for their new album.

Famed on both sides of the Atlantic for its “Czechgrass” fusion of acoustic, bluegrass, folk and rock, Druha Trava is the foremost band to emerge from the flourishing Czech bluegrass scene. Its virtuoso musicians can satisfy the most hardcore fans with scorching versions of traditional bluegrass standards. But as the band´s name “Second Grass” implies, Druha Trava reaches far beyond the classic bluegrass genre for inspiration. The band uses American roots music as a starting point for a synthesis of jazz, pop, folk and even classical motifs, transforming an iconic American idiom into a richly textured, highly personal statement.

Druha Trava was formed in 1991 by the influential singer-songwriter Robert Krestan, multi-instrumen-talist Lubos Malina and other veterans of the acoustic music scene that had long thrived in Czechoslovakia. Krestan’s original songs - renowned for their enigmatic, at times provocative, lyrics - make up most of the band’s repertoire, and they and Krestan’s raw, gritty vocals set the band apart. But Druha Trava also performs bluegrass standards and covers - in English and Czech.

Druha Trava and its members have produced more than a score of CDs and have won numerous Czech music awards. In 2012, Druha Trava received an Andel Award (Czech Grammy) for their album “Marcipan z Toleda” in the Country Music category. The Bluegrass Association of the Czech Republic declared Druha Trava “Group of the Year” in both 2005 and 2006.

Their fall U.S. tour has included the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Wide Open Bluegrass Festival in Raleigh, N.C.; the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion in Bristol, Tenn. (the birthplace of country music); and stops in Austin and other Texas cities; Arizona, California, Colorado, Chicago, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Concert tickets are available at Beagle Books or at the door. Druha Trava also will present a Bluegrass in the Schools program Friday at 2 p.m. at the Area High School auditorium. The concert and school program are sponsored by the Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council and Park Rapids Community Education.

This activity is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Region 2 Arts Council funded by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund.