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JUNE 15 | 7PM
CANADIAN MUSEUM OF HISTORY | 100 Laurier Street, Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M8

JUNE 17 | 8PM

JUNE 18 | 8PM
SIXTH AND I SYNAGOGUE | 600 I St NW, Washington, DC 20001 
(by Gallery Place – Chinatown subway stop)

Astro-Hungarian folk punk is how bandleader and Grammy winner Frank London describes it, but it is also contemporary, at times postmodern and deconstructivist, at times archeological-conservationist – Glass House Orchestra is a supergroup of 8 established musicians with various backgrounds and countries who take on the wonderfully complext Jewish musical tradition of Hungary. The outcome is in fact astral or stellar, and thus the label „Astro-Hungarian” is certainly not undeserved. Muzsikas are world music royalty. When they take the stage – and they have been taking the stage for four decades – an unparalleled dedication to skill and traditions shines through – interlaced with real outlaw mentality. This time, they take their Hungarian Jewish collection from Transylvania, unearthed through exacting research and years of fieldwork in the smallest of villages, and present the Maramaros material with outstanding singer Ágnes Herczku. This is a double bill not to be missed.

KulturfestNYC will be presented June 14 - 21, 2015, commemorating the 100th Anniversary of National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene [NYTF], honors the memory of folklorist, anthologist and archivist, Chana Mlotek z’l. This pioneering venture will have a significant impact on Jewish performing arts nationally and internationally. This Festival is committed to celebrating cultural affirmation and openness that is open to all New Yorkers and visitors from around the world. Everyone, no matter what country they come from or which language they speak, will be able to appreciate all the festival has to offer. KULTURFEST is an extraordinary feast for the heart and the mind that will bring the joy and meaning of Jewish culture to people everywhere. KulturfestNYC celebrates the impact of Jewish theatre, music, literature, and culture on creative work produced around the world. The Festival is a historic encounter of international artists, musicians, writers, and scholars who will come together to inspire, educate, and entertain.


Grammy Award-winner Frank London acts as the bandleader for this ensemble that grew out of a project initiated by the Balassi Institute – Hungarian Cultural Center in New York to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust in Hungary. The band seeks to present an image of the incredibly complex legacy of Jewish Hungarian culture, while also attempting to mark out a space for this legacy in the present, both in Hungary and the world over. The ensemble is named after the Glass House or Üvegház, the famous building, one among 76, designated as a safehouse by Swiss diplomat Carl Lutz during the Holocaust in Hungary, which sheltered thousands of persecuted Jewish Hungarians.
The ensemble, formed in spring 2014, returns to Canada and the United States after enthusiastically received 2014 performances in New York City and Washington, DC, as well as 2015 concerts in Paris, Copenhagen and Budapest to co-headline the musical programming of Kulturfest NY, organized by the National Yiddish Theater. This is a meeting of no less than 8 virtuosos who come together to explore a uniquely attractive but also highly complex universe: that of Hungarian Jewish music stretching from the religious to the secular, from the urban to the distinctly rural. 
The Grammy-winning curator and artistic director Frank London is joined on stage by Aram Bajakian, the lead guitarist for the late Lou Reed’s touring band, Pablo Aslan a giant of Argentinian jazz, Yonadav Halevy one of Israel’s best known jazz drummers, Jake Shulman-Ment a Brooklynite ethnomusicologist and world class fiddler as well as three standout Hungarian artists: Miklós Lukács, the most important innovator of the cimbalom/tsimbl of the past years, world music phenomenon Edina Szirtes Mókus and one of the most multi-faceted performers on the jazz-etno-experimental scene, Béla Ágoston form the Hungarian contingent in this international supergroup.

Frank London - trumpet

World famous, Grammy Award winner American trumpeter and composer Frank London is probably most know from the Klezmatics and the Hasidic New Wave groups. Besides leading his own bands, his playing can be heard on over a hundred CD recordings. He has created his own musical world from East-European Jewish roots and jazz rhythms and worked with such artists as John Zorn, Lester Bowie, Esma Redzepova and Maurice El Medioni. He has performed with John Zorn, LL Cool J, Mel Torme, Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy, LaMonte Young, They Might Be Giants, David Byrne, Jane Siberry, Ben Folds 5, Mark Ribot, Maurice El Medioni and Gal Costa, and is featured on over 100 cds. His own recordings include Invocations (cantorial music); Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars’ Di Shikere Kapelye and Brotherhood of Brass; Nigunim and The Zmiros Project (Jewish mystical songs, with Klezmatics vocalist Lorin Sklamberg); The Debt (film and theater music); The Shekhina Big Band; the soundtrack to The Shvitz; the soundtrack to Perl Gluck's The Divahn and four releases with the Hasidic New Wave. His projects include the folk-opera A Night in the Old Marketplace (based on Y.L. Peretz's Bay nakht oyfn altn mark), Davenen for Pilobolus and the Klezmatics, Great Small Works' The Memoirs of Gluckel of Hameln and Min Tanaka's Romance. He composed music for John Sayles' The Brother From Another Planet and Men with Guns, Yvonne Rainer's Murder and Murder, the Czech-American Marionette Theater’s Golem and Tamar Rogoff's Ivye Project Live in CrackowPoland, 2001. He was music director for David Byrne and Robert Wilson’s The Knee Plays, collaborated with Palestinian violinist Simon Shaheen, taught Jewish music in Canada, Crimea and the Catskills, and produced CD's for Gypsy Ledgend Esma Redzepova, and Algerian Pianist Maurice el Medioni. He has been featured on HBO’s Sex and the City, at the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Lincoln Center Summer Festival, and was a co-founder of Les Miserables Brass Band and the Klezmer Conservatory Band.

Béla Ágoston - winds

Hungarian multi-instrumentalist, flautist and composer Béla Ágoston who calls himself a “music navigator,” received his Master diploma as a conductor in 1992 at the Janus Pannonius University in Pécs Hungary and his Master in Music diploma in 2012 at the Eötvös Lóránd University, Budapest. He founded his first improvisation band, Mecseki Free, in Pécs in 1990. Two years later, he was a founder member of the Southern Plains Saxophone Ensemble who perched themselves on the border between jazz and folk music, but he has also been a member of the Vízöntő Band, the Grencsó Collective and Kampec Dolores.With the Southern Plains Saxophone Ensemble he primarily played alto and tenor saxophone as well as bass clarinet.In addition to jazz, he plays much Hungarian and Jewish folk music (Etnofon Music Company, Odessa Klezmer Band), as well as arrangements (Kati Szvorák and Kőfaragók Band) primarily on bagpipes, clarinet and pipes. Since the late 90s, he has been increasingly involved with composition.This process was launched with the Ágoston Trio and their CD Live and Live (1999) and led to the Ágoston Quartet, the Agostones and Zuboly.

Pablo Aslan - bass

Born in Buenos Aires, Pablo Aslan received his music education at University of California, Santa Cruz, CalArts, and UCLA, and in the 90’s in the clubs of New York. There he led several groups like New York Buenos Aires Connection, Avantango, and New York Tango Trio, which included musicians such as the late Thomas Chapin, pianist Ethan Iverson (now of The Bad Plus), drummer Kenny Wollesen, saxophonist Donny McCaslin, and bandoneonists Raul Jaurena and Tito Castro. More recently, he has worked with artists such as Yo Yo Ma, Lalo Schifrin, Pablo Ziegler, Osvaldo Golijov, Arturo O’Farrill, Emilio Solla, Fernando Otero, and Paquito D’Rivera. His most recent recordings are Piazzola in Brooklyn (Soundbrush Records, 2011), a tribute to his mentor Astor Piazzolla; Tango Grill (Zoho Music 2009 – Nominated for the 53rd Grammys and the 11th Latin Grammy Awards); and a collaboration with Cuban reedman Paquito D’Rivera, Tango Jazz, Live at Jazz @ Lincoln Center (Paquito Records 2010).

Aram Bajakian - guitar

Guitarist Aram Bajakian has performed/recorded with the late rock legend Lou Reed, Grammy winners Diana Krall and Yusef Lateef, saxophonist John Zorn, guitarists Marc Ribot and Nels Cline, saxophone virtuoso James Carter, bass legend Jamaaladeen Tacuma,  violist Mat Maneri, and the original Can singer, Malcolm Mooney. Bajakian is also a member of bassist Shanir Blumenkranz’s group Abraxas. Bajakian leads several of his own groups, including Kef, a chamber string trio that plays arrangements of traditional Armenian Songs. His latest album, there were flowers also in hell, has received universal praise, and was called "One of the best instrumental rock records of recent years" by New York Music Daily.

Szirtes Edina Mókus - violin/vocals

Szirtes Edina “Mókus” is one of the most respected artists of Hungarian world music and an extremely talented multi-instrumentalist. She was born in 1975 in the city of Kecskemét, Hungary. She started her musical education in her hometown, and then continued in the Musical Conservatory in Szeged. She graduated in 2000 from the Music Department of the University of Szeged. Later in 2002 she earned her classical violin diploma at the Hungarian Liszt Ferenc University of Music. She has played in several bands and projects and experimented with a wide range of musical genres from blues to jazz to folk. Her awards include winning the Pop Rock Festival (1996), the Hungarian Composer Award (2001), the Fonogram Award (2010), and the Artisjus Prize for new composers (2012).

Miklós Lukács - cimbolom

Miklós Lukács is one of the most well-known virtuoso cimbalom players today. His unique style is inspired by contemporary classical music, jazz and folk music from his native Hungary and the Balkans. He has performed with musicians including Charles Lloyd, Archie Shepp, Chris Potter, Steve Coleman, Herbie Mann, Uri Caine, Chico Freeman, among others. Lukács has performed as a soloist with several renowned orchestras (Orhestre de la Suisse Romande, the BBC Symphony Orhestra, RAI National Symphony Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, the ORF Symphony Orchestra, etc.). He has performed at Covent Garden, Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican Center, Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and the Opera houses in Lyon and Bordeaux. He has also performed at the Yehudi Menuhin Festival, the Warsaw Autumn Festival, the London Jazz Festival, as well as the jazz festivals of Ljubljana and Cork. In 2006, he started his own project, the Lukács Miklós Quintet, and has also composed music for plays, chamber orchestra, solo pieces and concertos for cimbalom. Since 2001 Miklós Lukács has taught at the Talentum Dance and Music School, and became an instructor and the head of the cimbalom department at Snétberger Music Talent Center in 2011. Awards include the Artisjus Award (2000; 2009) and the Hungarian Award for the Arts (2011).

Jake Shulman-Ment - violin

Violinist Jake Shulman-Ment is among the leaders of the new generation of Klezmer and Eastern European folk music performers. He has co-founded, performed, and recorded extensively throughout the United States with groups including Romashka, MetróFolk, the Klezminors, the Village Klezmer Quintet, and Art Bailey’s Orkestra Popilar as well as luminaries like David Krakauer, Frank London, Duncan Sheik, Alicia Svigals, Deborah Strauss, Jeff Warschauer, Adrienne Cooper, Margot Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys, Fleytmuzik, Életfa Hungarian Folk Band, and many others. His wide range of styles includes klezmer, classical, Romanian, Hungarian, Gypsy, and Greek. Jake teaches at New York’s esteemed Henry Street Settlement and the Yiddish folk arts program KlezKamp. An avid traveler, he has collected, studied, performed, and documented traditional folk music in Hungary, Romania, and Greece.

Yonadav Halevi - percussion

Born in Haifa, Israel, where he began playing drums at age 7 for the municipal Youth Orchestra. He later shifted his attention to jazz music and began performing professionally at 16 in various straight–ahead, avant-garde, Latin, electric, small and big band settings. In 1997 Halevy joined saxophonist and jazz education guru Arnie Lawrence's band and for 6 years toured with Lawrence's many projects, combining jazz and Arabic music. He also performed continually across Israel as well as internationally, accompanying visiting artists from Max Roach and James Moody to Mark Whitfield. In 1999 he was granted the status of "outstanding musician" by the ministry of culture and thus served in the first IDF Jazz band. He taught high school jazz history and jazz ensembles for a year before moving to New York City In 2004, where he has worked with Sheila Jordan, Joel Frahm, Omer Avital, Jason Lindner, Vincent Herring, Donny McCaslin, Avishai Cohen, Aaron Goldberg, David Binney, Tim Berne, Dana Leong, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Pharaoh's Daughter, 9 Volt, Zion80, and Firewater. Yonadav leads post-funk band The Apples whose collaborations include trombonist Fred Wesley and Real World Records and is a member of live hip hop collective Spokinn Movement, a quartet at the center of NYC's 'Freestyle Mondays' underground hip hop scene.


The winners of the WOMEX Award 2008 for World Music, after 40 years of their unrivaled career, MUZSIKÁS is the most renowned and popular Hungarian folk music ensemble worldwide and in their home country as well. MUZSIKÁS pioneered the global popularity of Hungarian folk music that is now a well-established niche in the roots and world music scenes. Due to their unique musical skills, instrumental knowledge and musical versatility, they can cope with playing on different music scenes, collaborating with various noted musicians and groups, from folk and world-music to classical and jazz, and even to alternative rock music. They have already presented their exceptional live performances at the greatest festivals and in the most significant concert halls, such as the Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Barbican Center and Queen Elisabeth Hall in London, Théatre de la Ville and Cité de la Musique in Paris, Santa Cecilia Academy in Rome, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and Carnegie Hall in New York. Among the various prizes, they were awarded the most respected Hungarian State award for artists, the Kossuth Prize, the Prima Primissima Award and in 2008 they received the prestigious WOMEX Award for World Music as well. In 2011 they appeared at the Royal Festival Hall in the concert-series of Infernal Dance organised by Philharmonia London Orchestra honouring the great composer Béla Bartók. In the 2012 concert season they received standing ovation at the Carnegie Hall with their program, The Routes and Roots of Bartók, together with the renowned pianist, András Schiff.

Mihály Sipos

Mihály Sipos founded the group Muzsikás with his two friends, Dániel Hamar and Sándor Csoóri. He became the "primás" (lead violin) of the band. Besides the violin he plays the "citera" in Muzsikás. He is the artistic director of most of the concerts and ensembles recordings and he is the coordinator between Muzsikás and the guest musicians. Sipos was born in 1948 in Budapest, Hungary. His ancestors from his father's side were shepherds, his grandmother knew their old songs and dances. The grandfather of Sipos on his mother's side was a great singer and the lover of the classical music, the first violin was given to the little child Sipos by him. Sipos's mother learned piano at the Liszt Music Academy, so he was surrounded by music during his childhood. Sipos became a pupil of one of the most famous music schools established by Zoltán Kodály where he started to play the violin at the age of seven. He studied the classical violin for 11 years. He was first involved in the traditional music since in 1972. 

Dániel Hamar

Dániel Hamar was born in 1951 in Budapest, Hungary. He started his musical career with playing the piano at the age of seven, a couple years later on he continued with classical double-bass. He became a member of the Symphony Orchestra of St. Stephan Grammar School. Although this was considered as an amateur orchestra, the best Hungarian soloists and conductors performed with them, and many of its young musicians became professionals. Hamar started to play traditional Hungarian music when he was 22. As most of the classically- trained musicians, Hamar knew little about traditional Hungarian music that time. He visited remote Hungarian villages to learn the old techniques of playing, and established the group Muzsikás with his friends Sándor Csoóri and Mihály Sipos in 1973. Hamar plays double-bass and percussion instruments in the band. He is the spokesman for Muzsikás and the official leader of the band. Dániel Hamar graduated as a geophysicist from the Eötvös University in 1974 and earned a Ph.D in 1994. He is a senior research fellow of the Space Research Group of Eötvös University, Budapest.

László Porteleki

László Porteleki was born in Budapest, but grown up in a little Transdanubian village, named Ozora, where his grandfather was a village musician, playing the "citera". The child Porteleki learned this instrument and played together with his grandfather in different village feasts. When he was 12 his family moved to Budapest where he was learning to play the classical violin. He regularly visited the Muzsikás "dance house" and started to be interested in traditional folk music. He formed his first group in 1975 and a year later he founded the folk music group TÉKA, where he was the violinist and the solo singer. With Téka he released 4 albums and besides the Muzsikás, Téka run the most popular "Táncház" club in Budapest during the eighties and nineties. From the beginning he collected folk music for the Academy of Science of Hungary, meanwhile he played together with the local folk musicians. Porteleki regards them as his musical masters. He left Téka in 1991 and became the professional musician of the Honvéd Art Ensemble. In 1996 he became a  member of the Muzsikás, he plays the violin, the lute and he sings there, as well.

Péter Éri

Péter Éri was born in 1953 in Budapest, Hungary. As a ten-year old child he won the first prize of a dance competition with dancing the Lads's Dance of Kalotaszeg, accompanied by his school-fellow András Schiff, the world-famous pianist of today. His step-father, Dr György Martin, the famous ethnographer brought the child Éri to his trips where he collected the Hungarian traditional dances and instrumental music and consequentially Éri as a child made his first connections with living musical and dance traditions. When he was 14, he became the dancer of the Bartók Dance Ensamble where he was an active dancer for six years. His interest in the music was continuous, he became the bass-player of the first Hungarian revival band, the Sebő Group. In this time the singer of this band was Márta Sebestyén, as a young girl. Meanwhile when the Muzsikás was established in 1973, Éri became the guest-musician of the band, from 1978 he became the full member. Éri graduated from the Eötvös University of Budapest as an ethnographer and philologist of Rumanian language and literature. He plays the viola, the three-thring "kontra", mandolin and different kind of flutes.

Ágnes Herczku

Ágnes Herczku, is a folk singer and also dancer, usually ranked with the very best of her generation. She was born in 1975 in Budapest and joined, in 1997, the Honvéd Dance Ensemble, one of the two flagship troupes of Hungary’s burgeoning folk dance scene. She debuted as a singer with the Hegedős (now: Fonó) Orchestra in 1998 and has been working with them for the past decade and half. For the past decade, Ágnes has concentrated on her career as a singer, joining the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble as a soloist. Her original genre is traditional folk, but she has also cooperated with numerous artists active in world music, jazz and popular genres , including Herbie Mann, Mihály Borbély and Nikola Parov. She is a regular collaborator of Szalonna and His Band and the Nikola Parov Quartet. She has teamed up with the great world music voices of her generations – Ági Szalóki, Szilvia Bognár and Bea Palya – to perform a series of concerts, also performing at Budapest’s premier concert venue, the Palace of Arts. She has won numerous awards, including Folk Singer of the Year and the Béla Bartók Memorial Prize.


Sep 19.
- Sep 19.
Atelier Walks: Disney Sculptures
Online (HCCNY Facebook)


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