Charismatic conductor, composer, and pianist Milan Svoboda founded the first jazz band during his studies at the Prague Conservatory more than 40 years ago. Within a short time, this Big Band found itself in the highest music position of both domestic and foreign orchestras. The inspiration for Prague Big Band was jazz groups of Don Ellis, Buddy Rich, and Thad Jones.
During the first decade, Big Band played with celebrities such as Michael Kocáb, Zdeněk Šedivý, and Ondřej Soukup. Throughout the 1980s, Prague Big Band was experiencing glory years. Foreign music magazines such as Down Beat have written about them and they released gramophone albums - Poste Restante and Podobizna.
In the first half of the 1990s, there were noticeable changes in the orchestra. Svoboda decided to cast 13 musicians who performed as New Prague Big Band.
Since 1984, Milan Svoboda spent nearly a year in the US. As a scholarship student at the Berklee College of Music he had this opportunity to meet leading jazz artists - Herb Pomeroy and Phil Wilson.
At the end of the 1990s, he returned from the USA to his native country and entered Prague Big Band. The success came early after claiming the Grand Prix award at the international festival in Karlovy Vary in 1988 and the first prize at the Big Band Festival in Dortmund the following year.