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Award winning saxophonist, composer and producer Karel Ruzicka Jr. has a way to captivate the audience in practically any musical context. It was already evident back in 1992 when his group "The Four" was awarded the first prize at the International Jazz Festival in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic in 1992. Their appearance at the prestigious Jazz a Vienne in France that summer was received with standing ovation. The group released their album "Space and Rhythm in 1994 to a great critical acclaim. Karel Ruzicka Jr. then briefly visited his future home of New York and met many great jazz artists including trumpeter Roy Hargrove. Consequently in 1996 he was called upon to fill in for saxophonist Ron Blake in the Roy Hargrove quintet on their European tour. Karel's tenor and soprano saxophone graces over 100 albums. His debut as a leader album"You Know What I Mean" (ARTA -1997) was nominated for the Czech Grammy in 1998 and the following year the album "Spring Rolls Quartet" was elected the Czech Jazz Recording of the Decade. After these early successes Ruzicka relocated to NYC, where he studied with saxophonists Bob Mintzer, Rick Margitza, George Garzone and Joe Lovano. His most recent album as a leader "Brooklyn Moods" was nominated for a "Golden Angel" award (The new name for the Czech Grammy). The album features pianist Bruce Barth, Czech-born bassist George Mraz and drummer Brandon Lewis. He is often touring with contemporary jazz singer Michael Franks as well as his working quartet. The list of artists Karel has played with is long: Ben E. King, George Benson, Hiram Bullock (SNL, Sting), Joe Locke, Bob Mintzer, Charles Blenzig (keyboardist and MD for Michael Franks and Gato Barbieri), Ravi Coltrane, Benny Rietveld (bassist for Miles Davis and Carlos Santana), Cindy Blackman , Fred Wesley (James Brown, George Clinton), Jeff "Tain" Watts, Steve Hass, Gavin Degraw, ELEW and many others.