Petr Zelenka

Projekt Z

Petr Zelenka is a Prague-based guitarist who studied with musicians like Dave Douglas, Tony Malaby, Peter Bernstein, Steve Cardenas. Since 1995, he is active in a young, rapidly growing jazz scene in the Czech Republic. In 2003, he settled down in Paris, and in 2008 he recorded his 2nd album („Memory Flash“, label Animal Music) with musicians that he had met there and played with. Among his collaborators were: Jaromír Honzák, James Zollar, Piotr Baron, Macziej Sikala, Milosz Rutkowski, Joel Frahm. He participated at various czech and foreign jazz festivals (Novosibirsk, Jekaterinburg, Wroclaw, La Rochelle, Trouvill-sur-Mer). He was chosen to participate at the international project V4 Octet in Budapest.
His new trio „Projekt Z“ exists since autumn 2009. His bandmates are two outstanding musicians living in Prague who have been collaborating with him since a couple of years ago: the saxophonist Marcel Bárta and the drummer Daniel Šoltis. Both are known from Vertigo quintet and from various projects: Muff, Nuo, Face of The Bass. This band originally came into existence by chance. No bass-player could do a gig so it was decided to play as a bass-less trio. Preparing the repertoire for the gig became a lot of fun and the unusual instrumental setting actually facilitated the creative processes.
Projekt Z plays original music inspired by various sources that span from free-jazz to punk to classical. It could be described as experimental jazz as opposed to traditional jazz or main-stream. Unusual preparations and sounds effects make natural part of the group sound.


  • Petr Zelenka Best band (Junior Jazz 1998)
  • Daniel Šoltis Soloist of the year (Junior Jazz 2004),

    Grand Prix (Jazz nad Odra, PL, 2009)

  • Marcel Bárta Czech Grammy 2004 with Vertigo quintet

    Scholarship to Berklee College of Music (1995)

    Best band at the festival in Montreux with Open Sextet (2005)


  • Petr Zelenka trio + 1„Mafiosi“ (Cube Metier, 2000)
  • Petr Zelenka„Memory Flash“ (Animal Music, 2008)

Press quotes:

  • „Czech guitarist Petr Zelenka brings an edgy warmth to jazz that isn't heard too often these days“. (All About Jazz)
  • „Zelenka´s CD is another promising flash on the contemporary paths of our jazz“. (MF Dnes, CZ)
  • „There is one thing that unifies the whole CD: a supreme lyricism, an impressionistic attempt to captivate the musical momentum, but not to do it too violently so that the sacred instant does not break up into pieces“. (iDNES, CZ)
  • „Zelenka keeps convincing us that his invention is always surprising“. (iMIX, CZ)

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