Kalman Balogh is one of the foremost Hungarian cimbalom players, descending from a famous dynasty of Hungarian Gipsy musicians. His virtuosity is matched by his understanding and respect of his heritage. A graduate of Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music of Budapest, he has completed many successful tours throughout the world with various ensembles. His instrument, the so-called cimbalom, is a sort of oversized hammer dulcimer played with mallets like a vibraphone, possesses piano like percussive abilities to drive a band rhythmically or take the melodic lead. In Balogh Kalman's expert hands, the cimbalom can do both simultaneously. Balogh continues a fabled European music tradition harking back to the collaboration of masters like gipsy guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli, connecting ancient folk music traditions of Central and Eastern Europe with the chord progressions and swing of jazz. Similarities in jazz and traditional folk music, such as improvisation and expressing emotions are immediately evident. Balogh Kalman & The Gypsy Cimbalom Band bring a contemporary and uniquely forward-looking edge to time honoured traditions, leaving audiences enthralled and inspired.In addition to concerts, Balogh conducts workshops, master classes, and teaching residencies on Gypsy Jazz and on the cimbalom. This band is guaranteed to put a spring in the step, bring a smile to the face and refresh the appetite of even the most jaded musical palette. After extensive touring through Europe and North America in recent years, in 2003 they stepped forward once more onto the world stage with a new programme and accompanying CD. As in many parts of the world, Roma musicians are peerless in musical entertainment in Hungary as well. The cornerstones of the music of Balogh Kalman and his fellows in the Gipsy Cimbalom Band have their distinguished instrumental knowledge and virtuosity inherited through famous musical dynasties on the one hand, together with their familiarity with different musical genres and styles. Balogh Kalman has been honing his undoubted musical skills for twenty years or so now, playing with the best of Hungary's folk musicians with excursions into classical, jazz and rock, both at home and abroad. The Gipsy Cimbalom Band provides him with the opportunity to fulfil a more personal musical vision and although his dazzling mallet work is a highlight of their performance, the band do much more than providing a foundation for the cimbalom - they are all dynamic and versatile musicians with equally eclectic musical. In this band Balogh and his fellow musicians present the instrumental music performed by Gipsies in the Carpathian Basin and the Balkans. The compositions are not mere reconstructions of pieces from each source area since the music, like Gypsies, crosses boundaries and the band manages to find unexpected combinations and juxtapositions. These traditional tunes merge seamlessly in the hands of the accomplished musicians as they verge from style to style, constantly improvising around the main theme. This music is no longer 'traditional' but universal. Improvisations is at the heart of the music and has broadened the band's horizons with elements of Latin music and flamenco, swing, ragtime and klezmer. These elements are not meticulously composed nor included just for effect - these inventive musicians have fine-tuned the harmony of the band to produce a colourful, playful and totally 'new' music. This ability is one owned by the best Roma musicians. Different styles are combined to produce a homogeneous and distinctive whole. Kalman Balogh band leader - cimbalom He is one of the most respected cimbalom players in Hungary. His interests pushed him towards classical and folk music studies. In 1985 he was awarded the Hungarian distinction of "Young Master of Folk Arts", and two years later he won second prize in the Aladar Racz cimbalom-competition. He plays mostly authentic folk music from Hungary and from the Balkans, though during the last years he has played with jazz groups, rock bands and also symphony orchestras. Members of the Gipsy Cimbalom Band: Peter Bede - saxofon Mihaly Gyoergy - guitar Frankie Lato - violin Ferenc Kovacs - trumpet, violin Csaba Novak - double bass Tour Highligts outside Hungary: 1998. Lisbon World Expo (P); 1999. Carnegie Hall (Philadelphia Orchestra-val egyuett) New York, Bottomline, New York, Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis, Madison, Cultural Center, Chicago (US), International Cimbalom Festival, Turnhout (B); 2000. Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, Festival d'ete de Quebec, Citizen Blues Festival, Cebreton Flats, Ottawa (CA), International Gipsy Festival, Tilburg (NL), Grezenlos Musikfestival, Murnau (G), Pro Helvetia, Kulturbrugg-Festival, Rorbas-Freinstein (CH), Festival di Torrechiara, Milano, Bologna; 2001. Orteguiera (Sp), L'annee Hongroise in France: Festival Paris Quartier d'Ete, Paris, Festival d'Ile de France, Cabaret Sauvage, Paris, Teatre de la Ville (F), Heidelberg, Hackbrett Festival - Muenchen, Fellbach(G), 6th Klezmer and Gipsy Music Festival, Verona, Inerolo - Arcipelago Estate, Teatro Civico, Dalmine (I); 2003. Orient Express Project in Theatre Bobigny, Paris (F), De Doelen, Rotterdam (NL), Haus der Kultur der Welt, Berlin (G), Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto,Vancouver, Calgary (CA) Boston, Pittsburgh, Cleveland (US) Ann Arbor, Chicago, Madison, Seattle, Portland, Santa Cruz, Berkley, San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Austin, Dallas, Washington, Philadelphia, Bottom Line, New York (US). 2004. Seattle, California, Texas. 2005 Roskilde (DK) The cimbalom The cimbalom as featured in the band's name is an instrument with a long tradition in many different cultures. In the hands of Hungarian master instrument makers it become a five octave, full-sounding solo and rhythm instrument. Although not widely known, whoever witnesses a performance by an accomplished player such as Kalman will never forget it. The other instruments are more well-known, violins, trumpet, guitar and double bass, although the sound they create here brings constant surprises. Improvisations is at the heart of the music and has broadened the band's horizons with elements of Latin music and flamenco, swing, ragtime and klezmer.These elements are not meticulously composed nor included just for effect - these inventive musicians have fine-tuned the harmony of the band to produce a colourful, playful and totally 'new' music. This ability is one owned by the best Roma musicians. Different styles are combined to produce a homogeneous and distinctive whole - Gypsy music and in their case acoustic, jazzy Roma traditions from the Balkans. Kalman Balogh & the Gipsy Cimbalom Band is no exception to the above mentioned Gypsy tradition at all. Not only do they demonstrate their familiarity with so many genres, but also they make it clear that they have become masters of these different styles.