Despite the fact that he was born and still lives in the Czech Republic, Jan Hruby has become one of the important European Celtic violinists. He has released a string of albums, solo and with his group Kukulin, since the early '90s, all exploring a personal, East-Europeanized version of Irish and Celtic folk. Hruby has ties with the United Kingdom, where he tours regularly and organizes reciprocal tours in his home country, where he has played with Hoover the Dog and the Frames.
Hruby's career started in rock & roll. From 1976 to 1987 he performed in Vladimír Misík's Etc.... Highly popular, the group slowly pushed the violinist to the forefront of public acclaim. Seeking musical contexts closer to his Celtic and folk leanings, he left the band to pursue a solo career, forming his own group, Kukulin. After the Velvet Revolution, he began to record officially. His first LP, Cesta na Severozapad, came out in 1992 on the local label MHS, followed by two more albums. 1997's Cerny Ovce was released by Bonton. A year later Hruby signed to Indies Records and released Stredozem. This album and its follow-up, Stara Vlna (2000), helped the violinist become "big" in Wales. His name is now regularly mentioned by Celtic music enthusiasts. The Best of Jan Hruby & Kukulin came out in 2000. In January, 2002, the violinist appeared as a guest during a Czech concert by the Frames (his performance is captured on the live album Breadcrumb Trail). The same year he was commissioned to compose music for DESpectrum, a multimedia performance based on the works of Irish poet Desmond Egan.