From Authentic Village Music to Multicultural Musical Experiences

Publicated on: June 5, 2013

During the Smithsonian Folklife Festival – Hungarian Heritage: Roots to Revival program every visitor will have the opportunity to enjoy a great variety of musical performances on the National Mall as well as other venues in Washington, DC.

Meet the musicians here: http://folklife.hu/participants/music/

Tükrös Ensemble and Heveder Ensemble play authentic village music from Hungary and Transylvania, while Parno Graszt is a true interpreter of the Roma culture from our country. Singers like Andrea Navratil and Réka Juhász will amaze all visitors with their vocals. Several programs will be featured by the cooperation of Hungarian and American musicians. Szalonna and his Band will perform authentic Hungarian folk and klezmer music together with Bob Cohen, one of the most important figures in Jewish and Eastern-European music today. The joint performance will be a special opportunity to experience the multicultural heritage of Hungary and Central Europe.

Folk music will also meet Jazz on the Mall. World famous Hungarian jazz saxophonist Mihály Dresch and cimbalom artist Miklós Lukács play together to explore new avenues of musical interactions and offer an exclusive experience to the Washingtonian audience.

Most of the performances will take place on the National Mall, however two of them will be organized in the American University Katzen Arts Center Abramson Family Recital Hall. See below:

June 27, 7:00 pm Concert of Tükrös Ensemble: Tunes from Hungary Authentic Village Music and Dance from Hungary and Transylvania

Venue: American University Katzen Arts Center Abramson Family Recital Hall 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016

The TÜKRÖS Folk Music Ensemble was founded in 1986 and today is one of Hungary’s most respected revival folk bands, which specializes in collecting authentic folk music from remote villages of Hungary and Transylvania, and from archival recordings, preserving and presenting this music in its most authentic form in an entertaining style suitable for all audiences. Their performance is a voyage back to a time when traditional folk music was an integral and crucial part of the village community’s daily life. TÜKRÖS CDs have been very popular, especially their disc of folk music collection from Szatmár County (North Eastern Hungary), which became a landmark release. In addition to performing, the band members are dedicated to teaching folk music in schools and organizing an annual folk music camp in Hungary. TÜKRÖS members are professional musicians with decades of experience in performing. The band has toured throughout Europe, twice in Australia and once in North America. Members include: Attila Halmos, violin – became attracted to folk music at an early age through the activities of his father who was an ethnomusicologist; Gergely Koncz, violin - one of Hungary’s youngest and most talented folk violinists; Péter Árendás, viola – a key figure in the collection of folk music for FONÓ Records and the musical director of the BUDAPEST Folk Ensemble; Endre Liber, viola and cimbalom – a prominent musician in the Budapest folk music scene with many years of experience; András Lelkes, double bass – a multifaceted musician with experience in folk music as well as jazz. Norbert Busai and Zsuzsanna Busai, two much loved folk-dancers and teachers will complete the list of performers, to make the performance an unforgettable experience.

To purchase tickets please visit: http://www.american.edu/cas/calendar/index.cfm?id=4604856

July 1, 7:00 pm Concert of Szalonna and his Band featuring Bob Cohen Authentic Hungarian folk and klezmer music featuring Bob Cohen, one of the most important figures in Jewish and Eastern-European music today.

Venue: American University Katzen Arts Center Abramson Family Recital Hall 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20016

SZALONNA AND HIS BAND are musicians of the Hungarian National Folk Ensemble. Their concerts feature the beautiful tunes of the Danubian basin. Apart from interpretations of folk music, they also work with their material in innovative ways. Band members all consider the preservation of traditions an important task and are committed teachers and instructors of folk music. They participate regularly at the most popular festivals in Hungary and have recently toured extensively in Europe and overseas, including Venezuela, India, Greece, the UK, Ukraine, Romania, Slovakia and the United States. In 2006, they represented Hungary at the commemoration of the revolution of 1956, joining the ranks of such exceptional artists as Academy Award-winner Jeremy Irons, pianist Tamás Vásáry and Grammy Award-winning folk singer Márta Sebestyén. A very special acknowledgement is the audience award of the 2007 Prima Primissima Gala, which they won as members of the Hungarian National Folk Ensemble.

BOB COHEN approaches klezmer music as a living folk art, and presents it in the style it would have been performed in its heyday. In addition to Hungarian, Romanian, Moldavian and Yiddish music, his repertoir also includes traditional Hasidic tunes. Bob Cohen was born in New York in 1956. His mother was Hungarian and his father Moldavian. As a child, he visited Hungary several times, where he first encountered the music of the Sebő Ensemble and dance houses. In the United States, his homeland, he played several styles of music, and worked for a radio as well as an ethnographer. Upon his return to Hungary in the late 1980s, he commenced his research on the region’s Jewish musical heritage, including songs, dances and musical instruments. He often traveled to Transylvania to expand his research collections. In 1993, he founded Di Naye Kapelye (The New Band) with accordionist Christina Crowder and bassist Géza Pénzes; the band’s line-up has changed several times over the following years. Their 2008 album, Traktorist, ranked high on Songline World Music Magazine’s ”Top of the World” list of best new albums. The joint performance of Szalonna and his Band and Bob Cohen is a unique and exlusive opportunity to experience the multicultural heritage of Hungary and Central Europe.

To purchase tickets please visit: http://www.american.edu/cas/calendar/index.cfm?id=4605164

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