SZÁSZCSÁVÁS BAND ARE BACK IN LONDON THIS JUNE!
Saturday 30th at The Warehouse in Waterloo- 8.30pm. Tickets @ www.csergopromotions.blogspot.com
Back by popular demand following last year's sell-out tour, the one and only Szászcsávás band from Transylvania will be playing at the home of the London Festival Orchestra, The Warehouse in Waterloo. The musicians are known to get carried away, put down their violins and dance superbly too.
Szászcsávás is a small village located in the Kis-Kukullo River valley of Transylvania, in Romania. The majority of the village's 900 inhabitants are Hungarians, with 20% Gypsies. The core of the Szászcsávás Band being brought to you in London is the prímás (lead fiddle) Jámbor István whose nickname is Dumnezeu (or God in Romanian), and Csányi Sándor on fiddle, his son Alin playing kontra, and Alin's brother Sanyika on double-bass. In addition to their main instruments, most of the musicians also play the other instruments well and are usually outstanding dancers. Most of them make their living by playing music and if we are lucky enough that they will also demonstrate some of their dancing skills at the gig (see video above).
The repertoire of the Szászcsávás musicians is unusually large. The reason being that they play for Hungarians, Romanians, and Gypsies. When they were young, the older members of the band also played for Saxon Germans, the majority of which have since emmigrated from Transylvania. These are Gypsy musicians whose ancestors have always been the musicians in Szászcsávás and for this concert their repertoire will be a mix of Hungarian, Romanian, and Gypsy melodies. For many generations the Gypsy musicians from Szászcsávás village have been famous throughout the region.
The people of Szászcsávás are a more musically demanding audience than the average, who dont tolerate weak musicians. The Gypsies live on a street on the edge of what is by Transylvanian standards a fairly well off village. They make their living by doing seasonal agricultural work and making bricks in different villages in the area. Given the meagre conditions, the only way to improve their circumstances is by playing music. Amongst the Gypsies, there is an amazing number who play one instrument or another; mostly stringed instruments, and more recently accordion, drums, saxophone and electric organ. There are enough musicians living in the village to make up more than one band.