Born 17 March 1946, Prague, Bohemia (Czechoslovakia), Senfluk’s pianist mother and cellist father encouraged his musical interests and upon taking up the clarinet he received private tuition from the principal clarinettist with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. His tutor was an admirer of Benny Goodman and his father brought home many jazz records from overseas tours; as a result he developed a deep interest in jazz and, in particular, swing era styles. When he was 12 years old he heard New Orleans clarinet legend, Edmond Hall during the veteran clarinettist’s tour of Czechoslovakia. Four years later Senfluk made his first public appearance, playing in a jam session at the International Jazz Festival in Prague. Senfluk continued with his studies, graduating from the Conservatoire of Prague in 1967.
In 1968 he began playing on Czechoslovak Radio and also became assistant editor of the popular music magazine Melodie. In 1969 he worked in both jazz and classical music, playing at the jazz festival in San Sebastian, Spain, and with the Orchestra Of The State Theatre in Aussig, Northern Bohemia. At the end of that year he moved to Berlin and toured Germany with a band supporting another famous New Orleans veteran, Albert Nicholas. In the early 70s he played in Germany, began teaching clarinet at the Steglitz School of Music, Berlin, and toured Germany and Switzerland with a traditional jazz band. He also visited London where he played with many noted jazzmen. In 1974, together with his wife, Georgina, he opened the Coppelia Ballet School in Berlin. From the mid-70s he was active in Germany and the UK, mostly playing jazz but also developing an interest in the music of Brazil. At the end of the decade and on into the early 80s he led the Hallmark Swingtet in Berlin and worked extensively on radio and television in Germany.
During the second half of the 80s he was frequently to be heard in London and also began travelling further afield and, as a result, built an international reputation. He also played with American jazz and blues guitarist, Al Casey and Australian trombonist, Max Collie.
He appeared regularly with John Petters’ bands, playing festivals and concerts in theatres.
In 1991 he formed his Capital Swing band in London, which eventually featured pianist, Martin Litton.
Senfluk continues to divide his time between the UK and continental Europe, and balances his repertoire between jazz, which is the dominant form, and other areas of music. Technically assured and possessing enormous flair, Senfluk’s clarinet playing is rooted firmly in the instrument’s great jazz tradition, but he is clearly a musician who listens to and learns from a rich and ever-widening range of music.
Martin Litton will be reunited with Jerry along with the amazing Colin Bray, on vibraphone, Harlow bass ace, Keith Donald for what promises to be a highly entertaining and interesting musical adventure.
Admission is only £10. Details call 01406 365 731 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jpeg photos available upon request.
St John's Arts Centre
St John's Walk
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