The Band

Martin Penič
Chosen as one of the best players of the year at the Willie Clancy Summer School 2002 in Milltown Malbay on the whistle and low whistle. He started on the recorder at the tender age of four. A few years later he progressed onto the flute which, at that time, he studied in Moscow when his parents moved there. After returning to the Czech Republic he joined the folklore group Vycpálkovci and a flute quartet which gave him the chance to travel throughout Europe. He plays Irish music with feeling, drawing on the overall arrangement of the melody and its characteristic, occassionally even jazzy, elements. His second instrument is the saxophone which he plays in a number of Prague rock ‘n’roll bands. His favourite player is Michael McGoldrick.

Antonín Janák
He started in music at an early age, at his school desk, abusing those around him with his constant tapping and exploration of sound. During his school years he was afforded an outlet for his obsession through piano lessons. The outcome of these endeavours was, however, unsuccessful and did not dissuade him from driving everyone around him mad, banging on whatever with whatever. In 1999 he had his first encounter with the bodhrán followed by a trip to Ireland to improve his playing on this instrument. His style is predominantly “top end’, which gives the maximum melodic range to the instrument. He has tirelessly endeavoured to perfect his technique to reach the technical proficiency of players such as John Joe Kelly or Eamon Murray. He first played with Shannon in 2002 and then rejoined the group, after a pause, in 2005.

Pavel Švestka
Violin player, double graduate of Jaroslav Ježek Conservatoire in Prague - after graduating his violin studies he managed to it once more with singing. At that time he was active in his own group called Auris which also later included Radovan Hulla as part of the formation. He started his cooperation with Shannon in mid-2003 as a replacement for Judit but he was finally enchanted by Irish music so much that he stayed in the band. He plays the melodies merrily as well as technically well while keeping the graces and respecting all rules of traditional presentation.

Radovan Hulla
Radovan is a guitar player dedicated to finding his own new style of playing. He performed with various groups when he was younger and he later joined an ensemble involved not only in classical music but they also worked on some great arrangements whereby they incorporated elements of blues, jazz and classical music into their own works, with highly imaginative accompaniments and harmonies! He joined Shannon at the beginning of 2001 when the band looking for a guitarist. He plays Irish music using the traditional DADGAD tuning so typical for this music.

Former members

Marek Zienert
Marek began as a musician in folk and country bands while also studying the guitar (rock music school COME TO JAME in Prague, specialising in blues and jazz). As a result (in 1996) he found his way into a musical ensemble of „merited Prague artists“ performing traditional jazz - Dixieland, where he initially played the guitar and then began to take an interest in the techniques of the 4-string tenor banjo. And it was the technique of performing on a 4-string tenor banjo which also caught his imagination in Irish music! Two years later he established a new band playing traditional Irish music – SHANNON. Apart from the banjo, he also plays the Irish bouzouki and, more recently, the Irish Uilleann Pipes. His favourite performer is Seamus Egan.

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