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Jaroslav Jakubovič (born 1948) is a Czech-born Israeli jazz saxophonist, composer and record producer.

Jaroslav Jakubovič
Birth nameJaroslav Jakubovič
Occupation(s)saxophonist, composer, record producer
InstrumentsBaritone saxophone, flute, clarinet
Years active1970s–present
LabelsColumbia Records,
VMM Records
Associated actsMiroslav Vitouš, Randy Brecker, Emil Viklický, Ula Hedwig, Daniel Jakubovič
Audio sample
"Good Old Days" from Coincidence (2009)



Born in Czechoslovakia, Jakubovič emigrated to Israel, via Switzerland in 1968, as a result of the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. He then enrolled at Berklee College of Music, where he studied composition and arranging. He then married and moved to New York City, where he was signed by the prestigious label Columbia Records.[1] Jakubovič was particularly active as a session musician in New York in the 1970s and worked with such prominent musicians as Paul Simon, The Jackson 5, Bette Midler, Ray Charles, Lionel Hampton and Buddy Rich.[2]

He returned briefly to the Czech Republic in 1998, at the invitation of President Havel, but returned properly only in 2009 to play at the Usti International Jazz and Blues Festival.[1]

In 1985, he recorded the instrumental album Waiting For Messiah featuring jazz adaptations of the songs of Shalom Hanoch. The album was re-issued in 2009.[3] In 2000 he moved back to New York and established a jazz-folk ensemble playing original compositions and covers of well-known songs. His 2009 album Coincidence was recorded with such well-known jazz musicians as Randy Brecker and Adam Nussbaum.[2]

In 2010, Jakubovič appeared at the Red Sea Jazz Festival alongside his son Daniel on guitar.

In February 2015, Jakubovič performed the world premier of Sara and Avraham, his concerto for saxophone, piano and symphony orchestra, with the Prague Symphony Orchestra at the Smetana Hall in Prague. The programme for the concert, which was held under the auspices of Gary Koren, Ambassador of Israel in the Czech Republic, also included Jakubovič's variations on Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin, and featured Czech pianist Emil Viklický and conductor Elli Jaffe.[4]


Reviewing the 2009 album Coincidence for DownBeat magazine, Shaun Brady said:

The music that Jakubovic has penned for the album also maintains a pop accessibility throughout, with strong grooves and vivid melodies that almost cry out for lyrics to sing along with. (Though the two cuts that do feature vocals are both digressions—“ "New York Blues” is just that, a straightforward blues belted by Broadway vet Ula Hedwig, and “Gaudeamus Igitur” is a curious swingvocal arrangement of the old Latin graduation song, too precious by far.) Sixties soul-jazz is the well from which Jakubovic draws his strongest inspiration, the most obvious touchstone being Cannonball Adderley’s Zawinul-era output. The gospel-tinged pining of “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” is evoked several times, most notably on the wistful “Good Ol’ Days,” which spotlights the fluttery suppleness of the leader’s bari playing. “Say What?” is a fairly conscious echo of “Compared to What” while “Bouncing Czech Dobry” is a Lee Morgan-style burner.[5]


As leader/co-leaderEdit

As sidemanEdit

  • 1974: Bill Watrous – Manhattan Wildlife RefugeBill Watrous (Columbia KC 33090)
  • 1975: Bill Watrous and the Manhattan Wildlife Refuge – (Columbia PC 33701)
  • 1976: Majesty MusicMiroslav Vitouš (Artista)
  • 1977: Herbie Mann & Fire IslandHerbie Mann & Fire Island (Atlantic SD 19112)[7]
  • 1978: Boys in the TreesCarly Simon (Elektra 6E-128)
  • 1978: Live at Montreux – The Atlantic Family (Atlantic SD 2-3000)
  • 2005: Losing Time – Daniel J
  • 2012: Live At LastBette Midler (Friday Music FRM-29000)


  • 2003: Muzicã De Relaxare 3 (with Francisco Garcia (guitar) and Stefan Nicolai (panpipes): Albert Hit Factory – 0010308-4, cassette, Romania)


  1. ^ a b "Jaroslav Jakubovič: Michael Jackson mi uvařil kafe, vlastně hned dvě". Dení (in Czech). Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Jaroslav and Daniel Jakubovic & Friends". 2010. Archived from the original on 3 February 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Shalom Hanoch – מחכים למשיח / Waiting For Messiah". 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  4. ^ "GERSHWIN & MAHLER". FOK. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  5. ^ Brady, Shaun (August 2010). "Coincidence Coincidence VMM Records 02" (PDF). DownBeat: 66.
  6. ^ John Scofield: Discography Archived 2013-07-22 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 24 July 2013
  7. ^ Atlantic Records Discography: 1977 Jazzdisco. Retrieved 24 July 2013

External linksEdit