To escape at any cost
Ladislav „Laco“ Déczi was born on March 29, 1938, in Bernolákovo in the south of Slovakia. He grew up in Bratislava, where he graduated technical high school. He started learning the trumpet at the age of 10. After basic military training, he joined the Dance Orchestra of the Czechoslovak Radio in 1962, where he spent 22 years. He played in other jazz groups, for example, Karel Velebny‘s S+HQ. In 1967 he formed his own band Celula. In 1965 he got married, his wife Milena gave birth to their son Ladislav. In 1983 he played at a jazz festival in Havana. Here he spoke about the political situation in Czechoslovakia with the American Journalist Lucy Komisar at a party. The StB found out about this and started blackmailing Ladislav in an attempt to get him to collaborate. At the same time, his passport was taken away and he could not play abroad. In 1985 he agreed to a collaboration with the secret police and his passport was returned. Shortly thereafter, he emigrated with his whole family to the United States via Germany. Here he formed the band Celula New York and made a living by playing the trumpet one again. Since 1990, he regularly plays in the Czech Republic. From 2019, Ladislav Deczi lives in New York with his second wife Katerina.