The set-up of three experienced musicians (Palúch, Comendant and Ragan) has existed since 2004. The music they make is based on interfacing of jazz and folkore music (Slovak and Moldavian), coloured by elements of jazz music. The repertoire of the trio includes arrangements of jazz standards and their original compositions. The trio recorded its first CD “Pacora Trio” in 2005 in Hevhetia publishing house. Shortly after the release, the CD received a positive response both at home and abroad (a 4-star rating in the prestigious BBC Music Magazine – June 2006). Soon, Pacora started to perform abroad - in top concert venues of jazz and worldmusic (the Czech Republic, Austria, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Rome, Greece, Poland, Denmark). In 2007 the trio was invited by the director of Brno Philharmonic Orchestra to perform the compositions of Pacora in arrangements for orchestra. It has been a success and it is regularly performed with prominent orchestras (Slovak Philharmonic, Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, Zlín Philharmonic, Bratislava Chamber Soloists and Slovak Sinfonietta). Pacora has made recordings for Czech and Slovak TV and radio, Austrian ORF and for films.
The trio´s versatility has been proved by cooperation with the Moravian singer Jitka Suranska (their common album Nezachod slunecko received the Czech Angel Award 2013 in the category Folk & World music) and the vocal ensemble Societas Incognitorum, on their project Heroes.
The second Pacora Trio album entitled Fugit Hora was released in 2012. While the first album is more jazzy with a folklore feeling (resembling Django Reinhard style with cimbalom instead of guitar), the second, on the contrary, is more rooted in Slovak and Moldavian folklore with a gentle touch of jazz.
The last album Ornamenty inspired by Slovak folk music, is a common project of Pacora Trio, SLUK and Marek Pastirik.
He was born in Čadca in 1977. He attended the Music school under Dana Majdáková in Kysucké Nové Mesto. At the Conservatory in Žilina he took lessons from professor Bohumil Urban. He graduated from the Academy of Music Performing Arts in Bratislava where he studied under professor Bohdan Warchal. In his childhood he devoted himself to folklore music under the leadership of his father. During his studies at the conservatory he started to occupy himself with jazz and he started playing it at the university. His presence at major local festivals of jazz, folklore music, classical music and other genres made him well-known. He has given concerts in the majority of European countries and in the USA; he has recorded both for the Czech and Slovak Radio Station and TV as well as for the Austrian ORF. He has recorded about 40 albums as a studio musician. He composes and arranges music. He has composed music for the performance of Slovak Folklore Artistic Group and also for two short films titled “Ábelov čierny pes (Abel's black dog)” and “Chyťte ho (Catch him)”. He is a member of the following ensembles: PACORA (Marcel Comendant- cimbalom, Róbert Ragan-bass) ALFA (Daniel Buranovský- piano, Boris Lenko- accordion, Ján Kriglovský-bass) Acoustic Colours (Michal Vavro- guitar, Juraj Griglák- bass guitar, Igor Sabo- percussions, Luboš Novotný- dobro guitar) Bass Friends (Juraj Griglák- bass guitar, Peter Solárik- drums, Matúš Jakabčic- guitar) Solamente Naturali Bratislava Chamber Soloists Nothing but Swing Trio (Klaudius Kováč- piano, Róbert Ragan - bass, Peter Solárik- drums)
He was born in Chisinau in Moldavia in 1980. In 1987 – 1998 he studied cimbalom at the Ciprian Porumbescu Musical Lyceum in Chisinau under professors Varnavii Comendant and Valeriu Luţă. In 2000-2005 he studied cimbalom at the Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica under the guest professor Viktória Herencsár. He has won these awards: 1995 International competition of Gherorghe Neaga in Chisinau - 1st place 1996 International competition Constantin Brăiloiu
, Tulcea (RO) - 1st place 1998 International Competition Eugen Coca
, Chisinau - 1st place 2001 International Dulcimer Play Competition in Valašské Meziříčí (CZ) - 1st place
He has appeared and performed at international festivals and concerts in Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Poland, Greece, Austria and Croatia. Presently, he is one of the members of the jazz trio Pacora, the Bashavel quintet and various chamber ensembles.
He was born in Banská Bystrica in 1963. At the age of 7, he took up the piano but he switched to double-bass during his studies at the Conservatory in Žilina in 1978 -1984 where his interest for music had led him. In 1986 - 1995 he performed in bands focusing on pop music in various European countries, mainly in Scandinavia; he occasionally played jazz, too. After years of travelling he returned to classical roots and in 1996 he became a permanent member of the State Opera orchestra in Banská Bystrica, from 1998 as the orchestra’s first double bassist. Alongside his duties in the orchestra, he devoted himself to playing jazz more intensely. In 1995 - 1998 he was the member of the jazz band Swing Q; and participated in its profile album in 1998. In the same year he co-founded the jazz piano Nothing but Swing Trio. As early as the next year, in 1999, the trio was given laureate award of the festival Jazz Christmas in Bratislava and placed itself among leading ensembles of Slovak jazz scene. In 2003, as Robert was becoming considerably busy with jazz music, he decided to resign from his post in the orchestra and to devote himself mainly to jazz music activities and his teaching commitment at the Conservatory in Banská Bystrica - double-bass and jazz music.
Not only is he engaged in activities concerning the Nothing but Swing Trio, but he is also one of the three musicians who make up the Pacora Trio - an ethno-jazz ensemble founded in 2004 by him and two other excellent musicians: Slovak violinist Stano Palúch and Moldavian cimbalom player Marcel Comendant. In 2006, the members of both Nothing but Swing and Pacora Trio created another joint ethno-jazz project the Bashavel quintet. In very short time it has placed itself among leading ensembles of Slovak jazz scene and it often performs at international venues.
Robert has performed at festivals and concerts and has participated in workshops in Canada, Italy, Germany, the USA, Austria, Sweden, Greece, Poland, Hungary and elsewhere, both with Nothing but Swing &Pacora Trio and Bashavel, as well as a guest in other musical projects (Miloš Železňák Trio). With Pacora and Nothing but Swing Trio (as well as Juraj Bartoš and Miroslav Paprádi) he has recorded musical programmes for Czech TV, Slovak Radio and Austrian ORF. He has cooperated with a string of excellent jazz musicians, as for example: Janusz Muniak - sax (PL), Scott Hamilton - sax (USA), Harry Sokal - sax (AT), Piotr Baron - sax (PL), Kellye Gray – voc (USA), Tomasz Grzegorski – sax (POL), Jarek Smietana - g (PL), Cathy Segal-Garcia - voc (USA), Juraj Bartos - tr (SK), Matúš Jakabčic - g (SK), Gabriel Jonáš - p (SK), Jozef Dodo Šošoka - dr (SK).
He is the holder of the Prize of Ladislav Martoník, awarded to him by the Musical Fund "for his intense long-term activity in the popularization and development of jazz music in Slovakia." On the third Thursday of each month, he makes a radio broadcast called The Jazz Club on the Lumen radio station. It covers the jazz music scene in Slovakia and abroad.