He was born in Budapest in 1957. He learnt his first songs from his mother, daughter of Gábor Tanka of Kunhegyes, a famous dancer, singer, jester and storyteller in the Great Hungarian Plain. As a freelance singer and storyteller, he has been collecting songs, stories and jests in Transylvania, Moldavia, Upper Hungary (now Slovakia), and various regions of present day Hungary for over 25 years now. The songs and stories dearest to his heart are visions and hallucinations of someone deeply in love, someone looking for a home in the world.
He has released several CDs, frequently appears on radio and TV in Europe, the USA and Canada, has taught Hungarian folk music at various locations in Transylvania and Hungary, at York University, Toronto. With the help of professional translators, he has entertained Canadian, Estonian, French and Dutch audiences. He also does literary translations, and published several books. He is a member of the band Egyszólam (Unison). He has received a number of awards in recognition of his work.
FORRÁS HUNGARIAN FOLK BAND
Forrás Banda (pronounced: FOUR-rahsh BUN-duh) was formed in 1997. Since then it has grown to become a driving force in the Hungarian folk scene in North America. The ensemble plays traditional village music from Central Europe and its members have regularly studied with master musicians in Hungary and Transylvania.
Forrás Banda’s performances are both entertaining and educational as the players present the traditional lifestyle and work of the peasant musician. They have a broad repertoire accompanying dance troops, presenting musical concerts and the traditional Táncház (Hungarian folk dance parties).
Forrás Banda prides itself in the authenticity of its music. Their work focuses on the acquisition, preservation and presentation of their Hungarian musical heritage. Their repertoire also includes music of Romanian and Romani origin but particularly focuses on music from Transylvania. They play stringed instruments such as violin, a modified viola called the kontra and double bass.
Forrás Banda also plays more unique instruments such as the cimbalom (hammered dulcimer), furulya (shepherd’s flutes), duda (bagpipes), ütőgardon (percussive cello), tapán (moldavian drum), koboz (moldavian lute) and tambura (tamburica).
Residing in Vancouver and Seattle the band performs regularly entertaining audiences across Canada and the US.
FORGATÓS DANCE ENSEMBLE
Seattle’s Forgatós Dance Ensemble, established in 2017 is a multi-generational amateur dance group which performs traditional improvisational folk dances from the Hungarian-speaking regions of the Carpathian basin. It has a kids group and an adult group.
Directed by Flóra Carlile-Kovács and Tibor Horvath, it is sponsored by the Hungarian-American Association of Washington, and is the continuation of the Kisbetyárok Hungarian Family Dancers founded by Sue Isley in 1984.
ESZTERLÁNC HUNGARIAN FOLK ENSEMLE
San Francisco, Bay Area
The Eszterlánc Hungarian Folk Ensemble is a performing group based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our mission is to promote and present traditional Hungarian folk dances and to preserve the history of Hungarian folk culture in all its forms.
The dance group has been celebrating and showcasing Hungarian folk culture in the Bay Area since 1977 through presentations to the Hungarian community and the general public.
The Ensemble consists of twenty to forty adults ranging from age 14 and up. Most are of Hungarian heritage, although membership has never been limited to those with Hungarian backgrounds. The dancers receive their training in the Ensemble as well as from guest teachers and at workshops statewide. The community served by Eszterlánc is vast, as appearances include international festivals, social events, patriotic holidays, and ethnic events. The Hungarian community alone, the group’s most supportive audience, numbers in the tens of thousands in California.