Prucha are a premier manufacturer of banjos and mandolins in the Czech Republic.
Their instruments are of finest quality and are being played by some of the most prominent bluegrass musicians around the World today. Each instrument is handmade to meet the highest standard of perfection using only the best materials available.
Behind the creation of Prucha Bluegrass Instruments is Jaroslav Prucha. His obsession with bluegrass music began when he was still a small child on a boy scout camping trip in the woods. At the time, the Czechoslovakian government had banned all country and bluegrass music which was believed to be a symbol of Western culture that dealt with such dangerous topics as freedom, love and patriotism. It was seen as a type of subversive force which might have the power to bring people together. The five string banjo was the driving force of that music and was new and exotic to Czechoslovakians. Jaroslav heard banjo the first time on this camping trip. A band of traveling musicians joined the boy scouts around the fire where one of them played his four-string tenor banjo. Those first sounds instantly found a home in Jaroslav‘s heart and his life was changed forever.He felt driven to learn to play, but there were no banjos to be found in Czechoslovakia in those days.
Instead of giving up, Jaroslav decided to make one for himself. So in 1974, with no blueprints, no experience, and only a few photographe to help, his first five-string banjo was completed. Later, Jaroslav attended a concert of the "revolutionary" Czech bluegrass band The Greenhorns. There he saw another incredible sight - fingerpicks - which were also inaccessible! When he arrived home, he took an old tin can and cut the shape of the fingepicks out. They seemed perfect in every way. After his first banjo was sold, his enthusiasm was so high thad he decided to make another, trying for a better look and sound. Thirty years later, he can see the culmination of his life's work in every instrument that leaves his workshop. He bought back that first banjo and still has it to remind him of how the story all began.
Jaroslav Prucha is a hard-driving banjo player as well as luthier and bases his sound on the Scruggs style of picking. His bluegrass band is HPSK, the unusual name being composed of the initials of the member's surnames. Information on his band can be found at www.sweb.cz/hpsk.
In the last few years, PRUCHA BLUEGRASS INSTRUMENTS has expanded to become a family venture. To continue the dream, Jaroslav's son, Jan quickly showed himself to be a master craftsman. Being the perfectionist, he permits nothing to leave his bench unless it is absolutely flawless in every detail.