About Ivan Mládek

Ing. Ivan Mládek

Ing. Ivan Mládek Born Feb. 7, 1942 in Prague, graduated from the Engineering School and the University of Economics.

During college there is an increasing interest in jazz and in 1959 he co-founds a student Dixieland band „Storyville Jazz“. In 1961 he tries to shape the first Banjo Band, in which he could be implemented as more of a solo banjo player. In 1966 he founds the „Old Time Trio“ with whom he performs in regular jam sessions at the bohemian Prague club Viola also in a larger group at the student club Vltava. At this time he also plays banjo with the already-popular trio KTO. In 1968 he leaves for half a year to France, where he works in Paris in Russian clubs as a solo balalaika player. After his return to Czechoslovakia follows his first run in nightclubs, vaudeville and variety shows with the banjo player, Frantisek Turek, then he performs alternately as the mandolin player in the country music group ‚White Stars‘ and as a banjo player with his „Old Time Trio“. In 1970 the country Festival in Prague's Lucerna he celebrates success with his „Old Time Trio“ banjo band, which the organisers themselves named Ivan Mladek's Banjo Band. In 1971 he records his first song „The Vampire Song“ for Supraphon and from 1973 regularly records for Czechoslovak Radio. Initially these are only instrumental songs. His Dadaist and humorous songs would come later. During this period he is engaged in a vaudeville group The Misfits, but by the end of 1975 his songs are so popular that he can afford to professionalise his Banjo Band and with them explore the Czechoslovak stages. For these shows he begins writing accompanying commentary, skits and monologues, and begins to be increasingly interested in humour and as such the focus of his work gradually shifts from songs to humorous fiction. As a humorist in the eighties he works also as a painter and starts painting oils in his original „Anti-perspective“ style. After 1989, he opens the doors to the private television station NOVA and for eleven years, once a month, he writes the ongoing music entertainment shows „Čundrcountry show“ and „Country Estrada“. For these particular formats he writes all the monologues and sketches, popularising such Czech comics as „Pitkin“ Lenka Plačková, „Libuna“ Betty Kušnírová and numerous others. In 2009 he partners with the new TV Barrandov and starts writing and filming the serial comedies „Cyrano Island,“ „Cyrano peninsula“ and „Leg XXII“. To this day, he has written more than six hundred songs, some of which have become anthems of the Czech Lands / Dasa Novakova, Jožin z Bazin, Prachovské Skaly, Jez, Linda and many others. He has made 13 LPs, 35 CDs, 13 comic books and 14 posters of his „Anti-perspective“ oils. On top of this his Banjo Band have played thousands of performances in the Czech and Slovak Republic, Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, the United States and the Russian Federation. Besides all of his musical and humorous activities there is also his creator's patent for Guitariano – the first mass-produced keyboard for guitarists, which was first unveiled at the World Exhibition of musical instruments in Anaheim, USA in 2001

Ing. Ivan Mládek