Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Milan Leppelt RIP

Milan Leppelt, a major figure in Czech bluegrass, died yesterday of a heart attack as a result of the sting of a wasp. Those who knew him, throughout Europe and the wider world, will realise the great loss to his family. He would have been fifty years old in November 2009.

His death is also a great loss to Bluegrass Cwrkot (he was their banjo-player since 1991, and wrote most of the band's original material); to the Bluegrass Association of the Czech Republic (for whom he was membership secretary and chief contact with the EBMA); to the Czech bluegrass scene in general; and to its links with bluegrass in the rest of Europe.

The above photo by Angelika Torrie shows Milan (far right) with the Country Gentlemen - Adam Poindexter, Dave Kirk, Randy Waller, Steve Block - at Czech Paradise, at the time of their performance at Jičín (CZ) in May 2009. Milan was a driving force in making the show possible, and bridged the language gap between guests and hosts there.

Bluegrass Cwrkot at Voorthuizen in May 2009, their eighth appearance at the EWOB Festival (photo: Lilly Pavlak)