Much respected singer-songwriter Zuzana Navarova dies at 45|
Czech music fans and musicians were deeply saddened on Tuesday by the news
that the singer-songwriter Zuzana Navarova has died of cancer at the age
of just 45. Her death came as a shock to many: she appeared in concert
only last month, and received a gold record for 10,000 sales of her 2001
CD Barvy vsecky.
Zuzana Navarova's career began in 1980, when she and the folk-rock band
Nerez became a hit with both critics and audiences in Czechoslovakia. An
interest in Latin American rhythms led Navarova to take a degree in
Spanish at Prague's Charles University, and she spent a few years living
As well as Latin American music, the singer also incorporated other ethnic
influences into her sound. She recorded two albums with an international
group of musicians called Koa, and also worked with the Colombian singer
Zuzana Navarova was highly respected by other musicians and critics, and
many in the Czech music community have come forward to pay tribute to her.
Among them are the Romany group Vera Bila and Kale; she discovered the band
and introduced them to a wider audience, as well as producing some of their
She also produced Raduza, the young folk singer who swept the boards at
last year's Andel music awards. Raduza was one of Navarova's closest
friends, and was with her when she died at a Prague hospital early on
The editor of Folk & Country called Navarova the biggest female
personality on the Czech folk scene, saying she was on a par with the
much-respected Jaromir Nohavica as a songwriter and folk artist.
Nohavica's occasional partner Karel Plihal described her as a wonderful
woman and a writer of beautiful songs.
Zuzana Navarova's last album, Jako santidevi, was released in October last