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Harri Stojka
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Harri Stojka In 1963, at the age of 6, Vienna-born Harri Stojka, from a Lovara-Rom dynasty of the Bagareshtchi tribe with wide family connections, started to play the guitar. His professional career began in 1970 when he played at the "Arena" in Vienna as a member of the band Jano + Harri Stojka. Then, young Harri became a bass player for Karl Ratzer's "Gypsy Love", followed by a stint as a guitarist for Peter Wolf's "Objective Truth Orchestra".

When the band split, he founded the first "Harri Stojka Express" in 1973. At the time, he played for or with Richard Schönherz, André Heller, Erika Pluhar, Oliva Molin, Peter Schleicher, "Novaks Kapelle" (a pre-punk band of enfants terribles), Terry Bozzio, Patrick O'Hearne and many others.

In 1981, "Harri Stojka Express" was the only Austrian band to join Jimmy Cliff, Eric Burdon, Van Morrison and Carlos Santana at the Open Air Festival in Vienna 's Prater Stadion. Shortly afterwards, Harri Stojka was invited to appear at the Guitar Summit in Montreux, the Mecca of jazz musicians, where he played with the likes of Larry Coryell, Birelli Lagrene and Harri Pepl. His appearance before a very critical expert audience was a great success and earned him praise and recognition from world-class musicians and colleagues.

The LP "Live at Montreux" recorded on that occasion is an impressive document of the event, which was certainly a key point in Harri Stojka's career. From then on, Harri Stojka was considered one of the most renowned Austrian jazz musicians. The Austrian jazz journalist Walter Richard Langer once wrote about Harri Stojka: "A lot of feeling for the blues, marvelous guitar technique, presented so playfully and masterfully at the same time that you almost take it for granted."

The philosophy behind his music is simply fun, and enjoyment of music. Harri Stojka has recorded several CDs in Austria. Yet, his concerts have always been of the utmost importance for his artistic work. This may be due to the fact that it is this direct interaction between the artist and his audience at a live concert which permits the artist to fully display his qualities. As a result, his many different projects range from mainstream to fusion and experimental jazz.

ZOHO is proud to release his quartet project “A Tribute to Gypsy Swing” as Harri’s first stateside release in August 2006.


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