Szalonna and his Band featuring Bob Cohen
Monday, July 1, 7 p.m.
Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center
Admission is free
Reserve your free tickets online at american.tix.com
Szalonna and his Band are musicians of the Hungarian National Folk Ensemble. Their concerts feature the beautiful tunes of the Danubian basin. Apart from authentic interpretations of folk music, they also work with their material in innovative ways. Band members all consider the preservation of traditions an important task to which they are committed, and thus teach folk music as instructors. They are regular participants of the most popular festivals in Hungary and have toured extensively in Europe and overseas in the past years, 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 repertoire also includes traditional Hasidic tunes. 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 experienced the music of the Sebo 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. When he returned 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 Eastern Europe.
- Katzen Arts Center
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