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Karel Krautgartner


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Karel Krautgartner was born in 1922 in Mikulov, Czech Republic in the family of a postmaster. In 1930 he began to play piano, but after moving to Brno in 1935 he found interest mainly in the radio broadcasting and specially in jazz. He began to study clarinet on private basis with Stanislav Krtička and founded the student orchestra Quick band in 1936. In 1942 he signed his first professional contract as a saxophonist in the Gustav Brom orchestra in the hotel Passage in Brno. In 1943 he progressively created Dixie Club and started to arrange in the Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller style. The core of the Dixie Club moved gradually to Prague during 1945 - 1955 and became part of Karel Vlach orchestra. Krautgartner achieved a privileged position as a leader of saxophone section here and started to contribute with his own compositions. In 1956 he founded Karel Krautgartner Quintet together with Karel Velebný, the group played in various line-ups, modern jazz swing, dixieland and accompanied popular singers as well. During 1958 - 1960 he performed with All star band, the orchestra playing in west-coast style, with Studio 5, (dixieland band, won the 1st place in the category of small orchestras at 7ht Youth Festival in Wienna, 1959). Between 1960 - 1968 he became the head of Taneční orchestr Československého rozhlasu (Dance Orchestra of Czechoslovakia Radio), in 1967 the orchestra was renamed to Karel Krautgartner Orchestra. He emigrated to Vienna, Austria in 1968, right after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, and became the chief conductor of 0RF Bigband. Later he moved to Cologne, Germany.

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