Czech School of California

Meet Anne Sajdera: “Jazz chose me.”

Today, we interviewed Anne Sajdera, pianist, composer, bandleader and accompanist with Czech roots will perform a concert of modern jazz featuring two of Prague’s finest musicians – special guests Miroslav Hloucal, trumpet & Jan Fečo alto sax.

This concert will take place on:
Saturday, February 18th
From 8 – 10pm at the Piedmont Piano Company in Oakland (1728 San Pablo Ave, Oakland, California, 94612).
To reserve tickets ($20) with your credit card, please call (510) 547-8188.

1. You are American with Czech roots, where do they come from?
“My mother’s side of the family is Czech. Some of them were Bohemians from Vodňany & some were from Moravia, although it’s not clear from which town. My grandmother said they had a farm, which they sold and eventually moved to Brno but I vaguely remember her saying they lived in Olomouc first, so there’s still more to find out.”

2. Your Czech is outstanding. Where did you learn to speak Czech?
“Mluvily jsme česky s babičkou, když byla malá ale ted’ je Zuzana Hesová z české školy moje (vyborná) učitelka! Nicméně těžké rozumět, když mi někdo mluví rychle. :)”
Note: Anne is attending the Czech course for adults led by our teach Zuzana Hesova, which meet once a week through Skype. If you are interested to join this group, just let us know at:

3. How did you get to the Czech community and do you attend any events?
“Through Czech School of California, of course! 🙂 Everyone I’ve met through the School is interesting & intelligent people that would be great to know better. But because I live in SF, I don’t connect with the Czech School community as often as I would like. 🙂

4. Why did you choose jazz?
“I’m a classically trained piano player but for some reason after graduating from the conservatory I kept getting hired to play jazz gigs and even more specifically, Brazilian jazz gigs so I would say it chose me.”

5. Any exciting future plans?
With regard to Czech musicians, I would love to somehow put together a festival of Czech jazz, although I think a more accurate description would just be jazz played by Czech musicians. The young artists coming out of the Konzervatoř Jaroslava Ježka are so skilled, they sound just like their counterparts in New York City. I heard the director of SFJAZZ, Donald Derheim, in an interview on KCSM (our local jazz station) speaking about how jazz is a global musical language and that SFJAZZ wants to encourage that through programs highlighting jazz from other parts of the world so I’m planning to propose a mini-Czech jazz festiva to SFJAZZl. Right now I’m the producer of these jazz concerts but would need help both financially and logistically for anything larger and it seems working in tandem with SFJAZZ might be a good avenue for that.

Thank you Anne for sharing some of your future plans with us, they sounds very exciting! For those of you, who enjoy modern jazz, don’t miss out on this rare opportunity and come see play Anne this Saturday!

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