Czech band Sto Zvířat loses frontman Jan Kalina
The Czech band Sto Zvířat has been on the scene for over thirty years. Last week it lost its frontman and co-founder Jan Kalina.
The Czech band Sto Zvirat (Hundred Animals) was founded in 1990 soon after the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia. During the four decades of communist rule people had little access to Western music and tapes of Western hits were smuggled into the country, rerecorded and passed from hand to hand among trusted friends. Inspired by bands like Madness, The Specials or The Selecter, Sto Zvirat was like a breath of fresh air in post-1989 Czechoslovakia. It popularized the then almost unknown genres of ska and rocksteady, and later also reggae and swing.
In the years that followed, the band performed at home and abroad, giving more than 2,400 concerts in the Czech Republic, the United States, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Slovakia. By 2020, they had released 15 albums, among them Distraction for the Bereaved, I play the piano in a brothel, A fat boy with a bee in his pants, The Ministry of My Interior, Lady with a Stork and Tested on People Over 30 Years.
On August 18th the band lost its co-founder, percussionist, composer and artist Jan Kalina. Devastated by news of his death the band cancelled an upcoming concert that weekend, but said plans for the release of the band’s latest album Noční ptáci (Night Birds) remain on track. It is to be released on September 15.