the way from Hungary, the Kabar Ensemble performs Friday at
Lakewood's Beck Center for the Performing Arts in an all-ages
concert. The goup of teens, who’ve performed in Transylvania
and Romania, are in the midst of the American tour. The concert
starts 8 p.m. and takes place behind the Beck Center, 17801
Detroit Ave. in the Music-Armory Building. Tickets are $15 for
adults, $10 for students. For more information, call the enter
at (216) 521- 2540.
of world music,
taste of Hungary hit Beck Center Friday
By Charles Cassady
Published July 26, 2006
reporter John Gunther repeated an anecdote about the way Hungarians
are intensely patriotic and passionate about their heritage: An
8-year-old girl entering geography class is given a new globe by
her father. The girl bursts into tears, wailing “Papa, I want a
globe with only Hungary on it!”
You may feel the same way this Friday when the Kabar
Ensemble perform, all the way from their home village of Kazár,
near Salgotarjan in the Palóc region of northern Hungar, at Lakewood’s
for the Performing Arts.
“This is their
first American tour — though they have performed around Europe,”
said Walt Mahovlich, a member of the illustrious local music ensemble
Harmonia and the founder of INSIDE World Music. Based in Cleveland’s
near west side, INSIDE World Music has brought various bands from
eastern Europe, Russia and India to visit stages in town, and Mahovlich
staged the Resonance World Music Festival in Cleveland in April,
exposing North Coast audiences to melody-makers and folk-song artistry
that they would not normally get to hear. No, not even on MySpace.com
the Ensemble enjoyed much exposure on home soil. “They and their
whole village were the subject of a well-regarded documentary on
Hungarian TV,” Mahovlich said. Kabar Ensemble is a youthful quartet
composed of Viktor Cserhati (violin), Mato Kapas (violin), Peter
Juhasz (bracsa, “a sort of folk viola, is what it is”), and Laszlo
Nagy (bass). For Magyar vocalizations they’ll be joined by singer
Julia Kubinyi. Their adult mentor Szabolcs Hruz, a well-known folk
fiddler, who also appears with them at the Beck Center.
“All of them
are currently in high school,” Mahovlich said of the foursome.
they are the Hungarian equivalent of the Singing Angels, though,
which has a constantly changing lineup under grown-up supervision.
Members of the Kabar Ensemble met and have remained together since
themselves,” Mahovlich said. “I’d be more likely to compare them
to a garage band or a bluegrass band than to the Singing Angels.”
that the bands repertoire of “Hungarian roots music,” village songs,
traditional ballads of love and pastoral life, music that goes back
centuries, is not at all a dying art form needing to be rescued
for the new generations. This is the new generation.
“There are plenty
of young people who are very interested in Hungary,” he said.
Members of the
Kabar Ensemble have undertaken tours in the Hungarian-populated
areas of Romania and Transylvania to learn and perpetuate more distinct
folk traditions. Their United States tour (running through the end
of August) came about following the invitation of the international
Hungarian Scout Association, a group with particularly strong representation
in the United States, especially Cleveland.
To give concert-goers
a total-immersion cultural experience, Mahovlich has arranged that
after the show the Kabar Ensemble will play for a “táncház,” a traditional
tried to incorporate something about the way people experience music
the way it’s performed in that culture,” he said, welcoming all
to become Hungarian for a night. Ethnic pastries and refreshments
also will be available.
“I’m very excited
about bringing these guys,” Mahovlich said
The all-ages concert starts 8 p.m. Friday and takes
place behind the Beck
Center, 17801 Detroit Ave. in the Music-Armory Building. Tickets
are $15 for adults, $10 for students. For more information, call
the center at (216) 521-2540.
The Kabar Ensemble Web site (non-Magyar readers might
want to click on the Union Jack flag for an English translation)