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Ondrej Havelka & His Melody Makers

Posted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 4:45 am
by Haydn
I've been knocked out by this guy's band and clips on Youtube, which I discovered thanks to a mention on Henrik Eriksson's blog. (He's also featured on Hans Koert's blog).

There are lots of great Youtube clips. I think my favourite one at the moment is this one of them doing Blue Moon ...

The band is active now and have recorded a number of CDs in the last 10 years or so. It's hard to find the CDs, but I might try contacting them via their Czech Republic-based website -

Posted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 6:16 pm
by wspeid
I contacted Ondrej Helvelka about 8 months ago via email to inquire about getting his CD's. At the time he said he was not allowed to export his CD's outside the Republic. I was able to get copies from someone who knew him and they are a very interesting mix of ballads, folk tunes, good swing, and blues.

The posted videos are, by far, the most swinging material he's recorded.


Posted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:43 am
by Option
You can purchase one of his CDs from this place for only $4.99 ... mit=Search

Posted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:32 pm
by Haydn
I found a Czech Music supplier who have the Havelka CDs listed at pretty low prices and take orders for shipping outside the Czech Republic - ... ch=havelka

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:58 am
by david
I bookmarked this a while ago ... ch=havelka&=

They don't seem to ship outside the country, but I have a connection that I plan to use for that.

Now if I could only find some Original Prague Syncopated Orchestra online as well...

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:32 am
by Haydn
david wrote:Now if I could only find some Original Prague Syncopated Orchestra online as well...
Have you tried here ? ... ... 6603372331

Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:15 am
by lipi
i got his "presents the swing" cd about a year ago, i think after reading henrik's blog or coming across the youtube videos some other way. i checked with a czech colleague, and he confirmed that ondrej is fairly well known in the czech republic. his band, originalni prazsky synkopicky orchestr (the original prague syncopated orchestra), appears on television every now and then. ondrej is also an actor and director, which explains the really well-produced video clips on youtube.

his stuff is definitely in the cheesier, smoother, whiter, etc. vein. glenn miller + andrews sisters more than count basie + lady day. i like listening to some of it, but i probably won't play any of it at a dance. the vocal harmonies are too sweet, i think. i would foxtrot or quickstep to a lot of it.

he does some more ragtime-y things, too. see, for instance:

Posted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:06 am
by Haydn
I've just received some Havelka CDs from a Czech supplier - ... 7&level=66

It's not that easy to find products by artist on their site, so this this google search might help (you can then click on the separate search results).

This supplier also has lots of other interesting Czech swing and jazz music, old and new. No audio samples that I could see, but the prices and shipping charges are reasonable, and they ship to London, and I believe any country. (Some of the site seems to be in Czech language only, but with a little patience, I was able to place a credit card order.)

Re: Ondrej Havelka & His Melody Makers

Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:17 pm
by Eyeball
I just saw one of his videos for the first time. Never read this thread before.
I liked the video a lot. Unknown song - video takes place in an office. Good stuff.