[Dixielandjazz] Re: Jazz In Hungary (Budapest)

Tinpanalleycat@aol.com Tinpanalleycat@aol.com
Tue, 25 Jun 2002 21:23:05 EDT

I've never been booked to play in Hungary but in August of 1994, I spent a 
couple of days in Budapest following a cruise in the Mediterranean -- and 
miraculously arrived in the middle of a traditional jazz festival. (Hungary's 
August 20th is similar to our July 4th, complete with fireworks over the 
Danube.) Not only were the architecture and buildings AMAZING in Budapest but 
the music was FABULOUS! Budapest is split in half by the Danube and their 
"Riverwalk" is similar to San Antonio's in that each restaurant has musicians 
-- some Hungarian, some Dixieland, some Thirties American Jazz, some 
strolling tableside, etc...I was able to purchase several CDs by Louis 
Armstrong that had never been released in the U.S. -- The Hungarians had just 
become free (around '91) and they were expressing themselves with Thirties 
jazz -- and I don't know if they even knew that Louis Armstrong has passed on 
-- he seemed to be EVERYWHERE!
   I must agree with Charlie though -- at the time, it seemed that no one 
spoke ANY English outside of the big hotels -- although most of the Germans 
could speak French and  I had studied French in school, so that got me by. 
    Also, if I could find my Sacramento Jazz Jubilee program from this year, 
there was a Hungarian band who came to Sacramento and they were fabulous!! 
(It seems to me that their leader's name was some version of Thomas -- so 
perhaps that's the same talented fellow from the other post...He told me that 
they have a regular gig in Budapest at a nightclub that's modelled after an 
American Speakeasy from the Thirties (complete with password at the door)...
    Anyway, when I was there eight years ago, Hungary was a thriving hotbed 
of Dixieland and Thirties American Jazz -- they love the music because it's 
so liberating and that's what they were feeling at the time...I hope you'll 
report back to the DJML  if you go and give us an update on the Hungarian 
scene -- Budapest was everything that I had dreamed Paris would be and is 
definitely one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world...
Jeanne Brei 
Tin Pan Alley Cat Entertainment
Las Vegas, NV