- Wednesday May 13th 9.30pm
- Sunday June 28th 9.30pm
But on 27-29 March I attended listmate Tamas’ Bohem Ragtime & Jazz Festival inKecskemet, Hungary. My third – and the best so far!
The Bohem Ragtime & Jazz Band celebrates its 30’s anniversary this year and must be among the best playing anywhere. Tamas doesn’t look old enough to have led a band that long, but there’s no arguing with facts. To me, a little orchestral ragtime goes a long way, so the ragtime pieces were not among my favourites, but on jazzier numbers the Bohemssound hot,swinging and inspired. And has several first class soloists:
In addition to his own band, Tamas came up with a fantastic lineup: the Alderighis (Paolo and his wife Stephanie Trick) on piano, the Echoes of Swing (Chris Hopkins on alto sax(!), Colin T. Dawson on trumpet, Bernd Lhotzky on piano and Oliver Mewes on drums), and the International All Stars led by Atilla Korb (Malo Mazurie – trumpet, Korb on his various instruments, Evan Arntzen – reeds, David Blenkhorn electric guitar, Sebastien Girardot – bass and Guillaume Nouvaux – drums).
Musicians hark from all over: Hungary, Germany, England, Australia and North America (Arntzen was labelled Canada/US), although the English Colin Dawson resides and plays in Germany, and this, I believe, also goes for the Aussie Blenkhorn.
The programme was extremely interesting. It started with the Bohems, followed after an intermission by the Echoes of Swing, on the second day there was a piano show with Trick,Alderighi, Lhotzky and Chris Hopkins, who is best known as a pianist and has a wonderful CD on Arbors (so does Lhotzky).
The first and second days ended with jam sessions, but most participants were the festival musicians. On both evenings there was a trombonist who did not play at the festival, and on the first one – another very young trombone player (he participated in jam sessions at the previous Bohem festivals I attended). The last day ended with a grand finale, with all hands on stage.
Something about the conditions: Due to renovations at the Cultural Centre, the festival was moved to the Four Points by Sheraton. The rooms were very good, staff friendly, but the conference hall where the concerts took place left a lot to be desired. The acoustic were hardly great, the floor was straight, so that the stage was not very visible from farther rows, so that they had to put a screen in the middle, and seating was on regular chairs.
Musically, as I have already mentioned, it was the best – yet – of those I have attended (I definitely do not exclude the possibility of attending additional Bohem festivals).