Musician Lojze Slak Dies
Lojze Slak, one of Slovenia's most popular folk music accordionists and bandleaders who also helped popularise the Alpine style of polka music outside Slovenia, died at the age of 79.
Slak was born on 23 July, 1932 in the SE village of Jordankal in the Dolenjsko region. For most of his youth, he lived at his grandmother's, where he spent a lot of time with his uncle, a well known button box player.
At fifteen years of age, Lojze began playing the accordion as a solo performer at weddings. For the next decade or so, he played at a number of weddings, occasionally with a group of musicians that became known as the Lojze Slak Trio.
A significant change in his life and career came in 1957, as he appeared on a radio talent show called "Pokazi, kaj znas!", at which he impressed the professional musicians and the general public.
In 1964, during a performance on the Ljubljana radio, he met the singing group "Fantje s Praprotna" (Boys from Praprotno), which give birth to one of Slovenia's best known and most influential musical ensembles.
In his later years, Slak also tried to bring the folk music closer to the young generations by working with the rock band Big Foot Mama.
His 400 original music works and numerous other adaptations made during his lifelong career include a number of hits, like "Raj pod Triglavom" (Paradise under Triglav) and "Mama".