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PAST EVENT | Concert by the Kálmán Balogh Trio – Jewish Music from Rural Hungary

Kálmán Balogh plays Jewish Music from Rural Hungary on March 26, 2014 at 7pm at the Gallery Space of the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan (344 Amsterdam Ave at 76th Street, New York, NY 10023)

This event is free with RSVP to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Seats are limited and only guaranteed with RSVP.
Balassi Institute – Hungarian Cultural Center invites you to the opening event of its programming cycle commemorating the victims of the Holocaust in Hungary. Please join us in remembering the martyrs and their abandonment and persecution by the then Hungarian state and the Nazis by revisiting their legacy in a series of events in the upcoming months. Tsimbl great Kálmán Balogh performs music preserved largely by Roma musicians versed in Jewish folk music. These masters have held on to traditions of the multicultural traditions of Northeastern Hungary, Northwestern Romania and Sub-Carpathian Ukraine and represent the most important repository of first-hand knowledge about the Jewish folk music of the region.
For decades, musicologists assumed that the Jewish folk musical tradition of East Central Europe, notably that of Subcarpathian Ukraine, Northern Transylvania and Northeastern Hungary, had been de facto effaced by the Holocaust. Jewish musicians in these parts fell victim, almost without exception, to the mass deportations carried out by the Hungarian authorities cooperating with Eichmann’s bureau in 1944. From the 1970s on, more and more musicologists ventured to reconstruct these traditions by interviewing older Roma, Romanian and Hungarian musicians who continued the regional tradition of each musicians being able to play the music of every community, regardless of his or her background. As a result of this work, it has become possible to bring this music to contemporary audiences in Europe and the United States.
Balassi Institute is sponsoring the present concert by cimbalom or tsimbl virtuoso Kálmán Balogh. The tsimbl is an instrument played by rural bands especially in Eastern Hungary, Subcarpathian Ukraine and Transylvania in present-day Romania, including the Maramures region. It was a staple in the Jewish and Roma bands that would to play Jewish, Roma, Romanian, Hungarian and Ruthenian communities in the region – drawing on their exceptional skill and extensive familiarity with the overlapping folk music of these groups that coexisted in the villages of this vast region. Kalman Balogh is one of the contemporary musicians best acquainted with this tradition: not only does he descend from a dynasty of prominent Roma musicians, he has also conducted extensive fieldwork in these regions, known as the heartland of East Central European Jewish music.
Kálmán Balogh is one of the most recognized tsimbl virtuosos in the world today. He has recorded a score of albums and collaborated with the most famous Hungarian world music formations, including Muzsikás and Mitsoura, Téka and Ökrös. He also has an important presence in contemporary jazz, including collaborations with Arild Andersen and Iva Bittova. His US career has been exceptional: beyond six succcesful tours with his band, he has recorded and performed with Joel Rubin as a member of the Joel Rubin Jewish Music Ensemble, as well as the Brooklyn and Miami Philharmonics. His commitment to representing the music of minorities in Europe has recently culminated in his undertaking The Other Europeans, a supergroup dedicated to playing Jewish and Roma music.


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