Ta Jana z Velké Ohrady means "The Jane From Velké Ohrady." The Jane is the stage name of singer Jana Husáková; Velké Ohrady is a district in the city of Prague. Since its debut in 1996, the group has been attracting a dedicated following in central Europe. The artists describe their music as "new emotional chanson," which actually hits close to the truth. Inspired by the cabaret tradition (with Marlene Dietrich appearing to be a particular influence), Ta Jana and her acoustic band (piano, double bass, drums) move somewhere between intimate vocal jazz and alternative pop. The focus remains on the singer's highly emotional voice, fueled by torrid stories of broken relationships.
Husáková has been performing on the folk scene for years, singing in the groups Corpus Delicti and Mrakopla, besides presenting solo recitals at Prague's Semafor club. In these groups she met drummer Roman Pluhar, who became her closest collaborator. The latter's track record also includes blues, jazz, rock, and brass bands. The pair began to toy with the concept of the group in 1995. The project materialized a year later when they met pianist Vedelín Tuma. The trio made its live debut six weeks after its formation. Bassist Premysl Vágner, a jazzman who once played country-folk with the group Sekvoj, joined around October 1996, just as Ta Jana z Velké Ohrady recorded a demo tape (he appears on half of the songs). On its strength, the quartet landed a weekly residency at Semafor for the 1996-1997 season, building a dedicated following.
In the spring of 1999, the musicians recorded their first album, Od Pulnoci do Trí (From Midnight to Three), and soon landed a contract with the record label Black Point. Supported in the media by jazz-blues icon Jan Spálen, music writer Petr Korál, and the deputy mayor of Prague's 13th district, the album attracted much positive attention in Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, and Germany, in addition to the group's home country. For the follow-up, Do Pul Tela (Half-Length, released 2002), Ivan Vojta replaced Tuma at the piano as the music moved away from the cabaret sound and into a more personal style of chanson.