Matthews family brings performers from Czech Republic to Mahomet

Access to the world is just one relationship away for Gary and Trudy Matthews.

And through a relationship they formed during a summer visit to the Czech Republic, the Gary and Trudy are giving East Central Illinois residents access to the friends they made and the music they enjoyed this weekend.

During a visit to the Jan Deyl Conservatory and Secondary School for the Visually Impaired, Gary and Trudy met Radim Vojtek, who has been blind since birth. Playing a variety of music from classics to rock on the piano, singing and playing the violin, Vojtek shared his musical talent with the Matthews, who were visiting Prague with the Difanis family. 

Vojtek began studying music when he was four, starting with the flute and graduating to the piano at age 5. Performing in public since he was 11, Vojtek received recognition as outstanding talent award at a music festival for blind children from the Czech Radio Foundation and has toured with popular Czech pop star, Aneta Langerova.

Upon returning to the States, Gary and Trudy continued to think about Vojtek.

“This past winter, Trudy & I got the somewhat “harebrained” idea of inviting Radim to visit America,” Gary said.

Because Vojtek would need traveling assistance, the Matthews extended the invitation to Martin Deyl and Musician Karolina Magdalena Kupczk, too.

Deyl and Vojtek are childhood friends. They perform together professionally as members of a falešnica band, and perform at folklore festivals, as well as for weddings and private parties.

Vojtek and Deyl met Kepczk at a folk festival in Hungary in 2014 and the three have performed together on various occasions since.

The trio, known as the Vojo/Deyl Trio, will stay with the Matthews while in the States. They will perform three times during their week-long stay, including one performance in Mahomet.

The group will kick off their tour at the Mahomet Public Library on August 23 from 7 to 8 p.m. before traveling to Urbana to play at the Sweetcorn Festival from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25. On Sunday, they will be at the Spurlock Museum in Urbana from 1 to 2 p.m.

In between their performances, they will tour the Shroeder farm just north of Mansfield, go to Arthur for an Amish lunch, tour the Aikman Wildlife Center and visit local schools.

Prior to their stay in Mahomet, the trio performed at the Pilsen Festival in Chicago on August 18 and 19.

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