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JUHÁSZ FAMILY - an evening with the Gyimes Csángós


Friday, June 21 - from 6.30 pm to 10 pm


213 East 82nd street, New York, NY 10028
6.30pm – The Ancient Language of Music – An exciting presentation by Zoltán Juhász about the ancient forms and styles of folk music with musical examples. The lecture is both in English and Hungarian.
7.30pm – Concert and Dance Performance
8.30pm – Gyimesi Dance Workshop and Dancehouse led by dancers from Gyimes
Donation: $ 15 (students, under 16 years $ 10)
Information: Ildiko Nagy, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 347 3389773

Zoltán Juhász musician (Egyszólam Band), ethnomusicologist, teacher (Liszt Acadamy) and physicist (Hungarian Acadamy of Science) is one of the most well-known and passionate experts of the Hungarian shepherds` instrumental and vocal musical tradition.
He has been working on the computer analysis and modeling of hidden connections in folk music for nearly 10 years. Zoltán Juhász is presenting these findings and the exciting prospects of this ongoing and ever-expanding study in his lecture entitled The Ancient Language of Music.
During his research he has created a folksong database of 33,000 songs from 33 different cultures, and developed software that looks for hidden connections between melodies, classifies them and examines the connections between the s.c. melody-classes and cultures. 
He is following in the footsteps of Béla Bartók who surmised: “…I suspect that in the future when we will have sufficient material and studies available, we will be able to trace back all the folk music in the world to basically a few ancient forms, types and styles”.
Based on the s.c. melody classes in common, it has become possible to measure the numerical characterization of the connections between different musical cultures. As a result “musical language families” are taking shape, just like the language families of spoken language. Based on these findings we can conclude that the oldest layers of Hungarian folk music are the descendants of an ancient musical language, and that other variations of this same language live on today in the folk music of Anatolia, Sicily, the Volga region, Mongolia, China, Dakota and the Mid-Andean native Americans. Therefore these are most likely the descendants of a common ancient musical language.
The findings will be illustrated by many examples of these melodies, which will be performed by Zoltán Juhász and his children, Réka Juhász on vocals and gardon, and Dénes Juhász on flute and fiddle.
Zoltán Juhász – flute
Irénke André –dance
Réka Juhász – voice, gardon
Csaba André - dance
Dénes Juhász – flute, fiddle
Bodor Lóránd - dance
Henrietta Simon - fiddle
One of Zoltán Juhász’s special fields of interest is the flute music of shepherds from Gyimes, Transylvania. The local inhabitants of Gyimes are the Csángó people, a highlander ethnic group. Gyimes is located at the periphery of Transylvania, on the eastern slopes of the Carpathian mountains. Shepherding and logging are their main sources of income. The so called “kalibazas” or shacking is typical of the Csángó way of life. In the spring they move to their summer lodge up to the mountains with their livestock, then in the fall –after St. Michael`s day- they move back to their winter residence in the village. They have always lived a traditional self-sufficient lifestyle, building their own houses, producing their own food, and even making their own clothes up until recent times.
The Csángó people of Gyimes stand out from other Hungarian speaking ethnic groups because of the ancient nature and the richness of their dances and dance events. We know of 35 different dance events and 30 different dances. The reason for such a high frequency of dance events is the difficult lifestyle of highlanders. Families very much depend on each other, work together in “kalaka” in their everyday lives, and meet frequently in community meetings. Their dances are typically accompanied by two instrumentalists, one playing violin and the other playing the hit-cello (utogardon), sometimes also accompanied by flute.
On this evening the Juhász Family together with dancers and musicians from Gyimes will present the culture of the Csángó people. Irénke André, Csaba André and Lóránd Bodor dancers, and the fiddle player Henrietta Simon are the leading figures of the young folk dance and folk music scene in Gyimes. Due to their amazing work keeping the local knowledge and culture alive, they create a true continuity between the past and the rapidly modernizing Gyimes.
The concert of Juhász Family and the Csángós from Gyimes is just a teaser of what can be expected at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival (Washington DC, National Mall, June 26-29, and July 3-7), where over one hundred musicians, dancers and craftman will showcase the Hungarian folk culture and heritage.
For more information please visit:


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