Culture at the Crossroads #2 - Ferenc Tobak Conjures Spirits at the Crossroads
Friday , Aug 28, 2009 • 8:00 PM • $15 Children free. Advance tickets at www.Brownpapertickets.com
Bagpiper Ferenc Tobak, with visiting master musicians Zoltan Szabo and Katalin Juhasz, will present a program of Hungarian traditional music. According to folk legend bagpipers can summon spirits with their playing at the crossroads. Lilla Serlegi accompanied by the Slavonian Traveling Band will add the high spirited music of the Croatian villages of Hungary to the evening's musical mix. Special guest Stephen Kent, playing the didjerido, will be featured in the premier of Ferenc's new composition.
Ferenc Tobak is a master musician of traditional Hungarian bagpipe music. Since 1998 he has documented the bagpipe traditions of the Hungarian Csángó people of Moldavia in Eastern Romania. In 2001 his initial findings were published in Hungary, earning his place among the scholars of traditional Hungarian music. Tobak has recorded with Hungary’s finest professional musicians, including Márta Sebestyén and Muzsikás. He toured regularly with Vasmalom for over five years, and was an integral part of the production of their first album. In addition to bagpipe, his recordings encompass traditional Hungarian instrumental and vocal music including flute, lute, violin, drums and songs.
Katalin Juhász is a folk singer, ethnographer. She has been collecting and singing Hungarian folk music since 1980. She has deep interest in singing folk songs of the South-Slavic people. She is a researcher, some of her topics: lullabies, historic folk songs, music of folk customs, the international connections of Hungarian ballads.
Lilla Serlegi was raised in the Croatian community of Horvatzsidany in western Hungary. This area and the neighboring Burgenland in Austria are exceptionally rich in Croatian culture. Though Lilla grew up in Hungary, Croatian was her primary language. From early childhood Lilla was recognized as gifted in music. As a young child, she took up the tamburitza, and trained with Drazen Soic, one of the best tamburitza teachers in Croatia. She performed with traditional Croatian tamburitza bands in neighboring villages in western Hungary including Zidanski Becari, Veseli Gradiscanci, Kojnofski Tamburasi, and Bizonjski Tamburasi. She also performed with the Peruska Marija Choir, which played a prominent role in the cultural life in her predominantly Croatian village in Hungary. Consequently, Lilla mastered the traditional cultural rituals associated with tamburitza music in both the Croatian and Hungarian cultures. She is highly experienced and comfortable performing and teaching the traditional songs and dances associated with the yearly cycle of festivals.
Stephen Kent. With beginnings in Uganda, and the seed sown there of a lifetime of interest in global cultures, it is no surprise that Stephen Kent has traveled the world, living at various times in Africa, England, Spain, Australia and, for the last 15 years, The San Francisco Bay Area. In Australia, in 1981, as Music Director of Circus Oz he first connected with Australian Aboriginal culture and the Didjeridu.
Slavonian Traveling Band. The diverse sound and repertoire of The Slavonian Traveling Band crosses all boundaries and speaks for tolerance and hope. The popular eight member ensemble, The Slavonian Traveling Band, blends traditional Bosnian, Sephardic, Roma (Gypsy), Croatian,Hungarian, Macedonian, Serbian music with original songs in the American folk tradition. The acoustic ensemble sings haunting sevdalinkas (Bosnian for "blues"), ballads in traditional harmonies, and represents a newly emerging "California-sevdah" style of music. The band's program blends traditional music with original songs influenced by American spirituals, blues, and story telling traditions, and makes a real time moving connection to the diaspora and the culture of the Balkan peoples.
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