The beginnings of the band called Koa date back to 1998, when Zuzana Navarová together with Iván Gutiérrez, a Columbian singer, expanded the existing duo with a bass guitarist František Raba, percussionist and drummer Camilo Caller and accordionist Mário Bihári.


This team recorded two albums: "Skleněná vrba" (Glass Willow) (Navarová-Gutiérrez-Koa, Indies Records, 1999), by the way awarded with Žlutá ponorka (Yellow Submarine), an award granted by the association of independent journalists Periskop, and “Zelené album” (Green Album), the recording of a concert in the Prague Malostranská beseda (Navarová-Gutiérrez-Koa, Indies Records 2000). Both albums gained favor not only of experts but also by the general public and they ranked among the top of Czech music right after their launch. They are still considered the best music that originated in this country in the 1990's.


After Iván Gutiérrez left in 2000, the sound of the band was enriched by the guitarist Omar Khaouaj, and Koa set off on the path leading to interconnecting many cultural influences and genres. An album entitled “Barvy všecky” (All the Colors) (Indies Records 2001) originated, and was granted the Anděl award of the Academy of Popular Music in the category of folk, and also got the Golden Album. In 2003 an album “Jako Šántidéví" (Like Shantidevi) (Indies Records 2003) was published. Besides Zuzana Navarová also Mário Bihári and Camilo Caller cooperated as authors. Then Zuzana Navarová, the leading figure of Czech music, dies after a long illness. After a year’s pondering its future, Koa decided to go on.


At present the members of the band include František Raba, Mário Bihári, Camilo Caller and Omar Khaouaj. All members of the band take part in creating its repertoire and Koa has gradually gained a wider range of audiences, who seek it particularly on club scenes. There, in an intimate ambience, these brilliant and excellently coordinated musicians may best demonstrate their individual abilities as well as the harmony of the whole ensemble.


© Indies Scope

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