The ...Na Hungarian folk group has been all around town these days, and here are some videos that capture the funky Hungarian vibe.
Vox Pop with Kata singing:
And if that isn't enough to satisfy your Hungarian folk music video needs, you can go here:
Áron Székely has been instigating a new generations of Hungarian and Hungarian-sympathizers into bursting out into music and dance. These incidents have been witnessed around the streets of Manhattan and New Brunswick, NJ and on YouTube. Videographic proof is available here:
Further incriminating evidence can be found on his blog, located on the Internet at hungarianfolkdance.net.
I have been asked to return this year, will my coterie of gyil lovers, to provide a very hands-on introduction to African xylophones and percussion for those in attendance, especially the younger ones. We had a great time last year, and it’s part of a whole day of music and performance of all styles (classical, rock, African, dance, theater), all FREE and open to the public.
For those who have not been, Music Mountain, is home to the nation’s longest continually running summer festival of chamber music, as well as great programming series in jazz and other styles. (Imaginary Homeland played the stage last summer). It’s in a beautiful location, 2 hours north of NYC, with plenty of other summer attractions in the area. Hope to see you there!
by Mark Stone
from Jumbie Journal, July 2006
Jumbie Partner, Bernard Woma's Dagara Music Centre is busier than ever this summer. Bernard headed straight to Ghana as soon as AXF2 and his classes at Fredonia University were complete. When he arrived in Ghana he already had students from the U.S. waiting for him. Students from Bowling Green State University, Ithaca College, Concordia College, Berklee College of Music, Louis and Clark College, and the University of Arizona have all studied at the Dagara Music Center this year. At the center they learn various forms of traditional drumming, dancing, and xylophone music as well as kente weaving, batik and tie and dye making, drum making and blacksmithing.
The Dagara Music Centre, located in Medie, Ghana (a suburb of the capital city, Accra) was recently designated as an official tourist destination by Ghana's Ministry of Tourism. Bernard established the centre in 1999 to promote and popularize Ghanaian traditional music, especially the Dagara gyil (Ghanaian xylophone). Bernard personally supervises all teaching along with his staff of talented musicians, dancers, and visual artists.
The center is also the home of the award winning Dagara Dance troupe, one of the leading traditional music and dance groups of Ghana. The troupe has many performance scheduled in Ghana this summer including a concert at the home of the US Ambassador to Ghana. The Dagara Dance Troupe is also preparing to record a DVD that is to be released by the end of the year. The group's repertoire includes a range of spiritual, ceremonial, and recreational genres. Their music and dance is joyful, expressive and highly participatory.
By Raul Rothblatt
Photos: Gyöngyvér Harkó, Gabriella Györffy & Marta Fodor
from Jumbie Journal, July 2006
The annual Hungarian Day festival in New Brunswick, New Jersey is one of the great festivals you've probably never heard of. Thousands of people throng Somerset Street to enjoy the whole range of Hungarian culture; from blintzes, books and beer, to speeches, parades, prayers and history lessons. Of course, there is an endless supply of music and dance, with performances starting in the late morning and ending in the wee hours of the next day.
Vastly different musical styles live side by side during Hungarian Day. There is a campervan/stage on the street presenting rock and popular styles, while Gypsy Joe plays accordion to fellow beer drinkers in the basement of the Hungarian American Athletic Club (HAAC). Hungarians love their folk culture, and New Brunswick is home to a vibrant, multi-generational community that enthusiastically embraces the Hungarian village cultures from Transylvania, Hungary and Slovakia.
The Hungarian Scouts play a big part in keeping Hungarian dance traditions alive in the region. The local troop leaders start teaching the intricacies of Hungarian folk dance to toddlers, and continue their lessons through the kids' teenage years. A group of alumni from the Scouts have formed a performing dance ensemble called Csürdöngölö, and there are other youth groups in Garfield, New Jersey and New York City. For Hungarian Day, the Tisza dance group from Washington came up for the weekend.
The endless hours of dance could not take place without music. The group at the heart of this community is the traditional Hungarian folk ensemble Eletfa. The group, managed by Jumbie Records, has played an active role at the heart of New Jersey's Hungarian community and needs no introduction in New Brunswick.
As in past years, Hungarian Day included small hourly performances by Életfa/Csürdöngölö that lead up to a large performance at the HAAC. This year's finale included nearly one hundred performers and an audience of about 700. This year was the last performance at the current HAAC before it moves down the street as it is being rebuilt to make room for the expansion of a hospital.
The twilight performance this year featured three Hungarian sopranos, each representing a different style: One operatic, one rock, one folk. Életfa's Kalman "Öcsi" Magyar, as usual, performed as MC, musical director and multi-instrumentalist.
The long day of fried food, discussions of the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution, and endless dance and musical performance did not end at twilight. This was just the prelude to the Tanchaz, a participatory dance party at the scout’s home. This rustic wooden building is called the Cserkeszhaz. Eletfa continued to play into the early morning while happy, hot Hungarians danced with amazing rhythm and endless energy.
The next Hungarian Day will take place in the first Saturday on June 2007. For more information, please contact Raul@JumbieRecords.com.
Young Hungarian performers paving
the way for their younger siblings
For more photos, visit www.gimagine.com