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Dear friends,

I think you might have had a possibility to hear or see tapes or videotapes of a young musician from Detva-Jaroslav Hazlinger & his folk band, because I am being asked to write some words about him. I am glad I can do it now.
I've known Jarko Hazlinger since we were small children and attended the same musical school in Detva.
According to Jarko's own words and memories he "touched" the violin for the first time when he was just a three year old boy. This violin was very, very small, it was just a toy made of tin and it was a present from his grandmother. He changed this toy into real wooden instrument very soon.
Like all the other pupils at music school, Jarko had to start playing (so hated) musical scales, etudes, and pieces of classical music. But in our region - Podpolanie-you simply cannot live without folklore, you can't avoid beautiful folk songs and music, which you can hear everywhere you turn. Thatís what Detva is like.
So Jarko became a member of a children's folk group Detvancok and immediately started to play the first violin. We call this leading position primas. He began his primas career in a group of musicians led by Jozef Mackov-former cymbal player of the folk band Datelinka.

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It is very typical for children's folk bands and folk groups that their members change quite often. When children are 18 years old (and aren't children anymore), most of them leave folk groups and folk bands. On the other hand new 6-7 year old boys and girls enter them. In our country 18-year-old guys and girls start their studies at universities or start working. Some guys go to the army. Young musicians and dancers simply scatter around Slovakia. Those who stay faithful to our lovely folk music continue playing and dancing in different folk groups all around our country.
When I was a little girl, I also started playing in Detvancok. For more than 6 years I played kontra under the leadership of Jarko Hazlinger- our primas. Detvancok had 12 members then and we were all very good friends. Our leader ujo Jozko Mackov taught us how to love Slovak folklore. With Jarko as a primas we went through a lot of performances, TV or radio shows and programs. We - members of Detvancok-were almost the same age, so we left the childrenís group more or less at the same time. Some of us went to Bratislava, Banska Bystrica or Kosice to study at the universities there and, of course, entered the university folk groups. But Jarko never really left "his" folk band. Although he studied at the Faculty of Economics of the university in Bratislava and played in the folk group Ekonom, he often traveled back to Detva trying to "hold" the musicians together. At last, the guys returned to their hometown after finishing their studies or after being in the army and created a stable music band of 5 members, which is now called "The folk music band of Jaroslav Hazlinger." We can simply call them Hazlingerovci. They have been playing together for several years already and everybody in Detva knows them and loves them. Jarko didn't originally come from Detva, he used to live in Hrinova, a small town situated on the other side of the mount Polana. He moved to Detva some years ago and he lives here now. After graduating the Faculty of Economics he started his "business career" and up to now heís been working in the banking sector.

As a lover of folklore he still leads his music band, but also works with children. He collects and then writes music-old songs of our grandfathers and grandmothers and this material is then used in folk groups in Detva. His band accompanies dancers of the folk group Detva and his "educational role" is very well seen in the play of young musicians of newly formed children's folk band Detvancok. I can say that besides being a good businessman Jarko is a great teacher who prepares a new generation of Detva's musicians.

I have to say again what I have already said so many times before. We have to keep our beautiful traditions alive. When you hear or see Jarko Hazlinger's band playing, you understand why we all are proud of being Slovaks. The beauty of Slovak folk music comes out of his violin; his love for Slovak folklore comes out of his heart.

Written by:

Dana Hodulova

JAROSLAV HAZLINGER is featured on Video


Published in the Slovak Heritage Live newsletter Volume 6, No. 4, Winter 1998
Copyright © Vladimir Linder 1998 
3804 Yale Street, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5C 1P6
The above article and photographs may not be copied, reproduced, republished, or redistributed by any means including electronic, without the express written permission of Vladimir Linder. All rights reserved.