Hungarian World Music Guide summarizes everything you need to know about local folk and world music industry

On the occasion of WOMEX we prepared an overview of the Hungarian folk and world music market with the help of Hungarian Heritage House (Hagyományok Háza), Fonó and Hangvető.

The concept of the brochure was based on WOMEX20 organized in Budapest – we considered it important to take advantage of the opportunities to make the market of Hungarian folk and world music as transparent as possible for professionals as well as people that are simply like this genre of music. We asked Balázs Weyer’s help, who, as a member of the WOMEX jury, The 7 Samurai, was able to meet first-hand Hungarian folk and world music productions that are ready for export. We also involved two of Hungary’s leading, well-known and internationally recognized market participants, Fonó and Hungarian Heritage House (Hagyományok Háza). They contributed with their extensive knowledge to the selection of bands.

In addition to the bands, we gathered a bunch of festivals with folk and world music performers; labels; venues where this genre of music programs can be found and which can provide opportunities for foreign artists to perform; organizations that can be a possible international partner institution.

Due to the COVID-19 situation, WOMEX can’t be orgazined in its original form, so we decided to make the Hungarian World Music Guide available to everyone online. Our goal is to make the colorful and exciting Hungarian folk and world music scene more visible in the world – according to our plans, we will expand the brochure from time to time with additional bands and other market participants, and we hope to have the opportunity to welcome WOMEX again in Budapest in the future.

The Hungarian World Music Guide is available here for free!

Ági Szalóki

Hungarian folk singer Ági Szalóki made her first solo album in 2004. The release of her new, ninth album was supported by the National Cultural Fund of Hungary (NKA). The nearly one-hour long, authentic folk music album consists of nine tracks. They include Hungarian folk songs and folk dance music from Magyarszovát, Szék and Buza (Mezőség region), Magyarbece (Nagyenyed region), Méra (Kalotaszeg region) as well as from Sárköz and Somogy (Hungary), and gipsy folk songs from Zala and Csík from the collection of Károly Bari. The album containing colourful photos and the full lyrics booklet also features Gergely Koncz, László Mester and Barna Mihálydeák, members of a folk music band, as well as other guest artists such as Szilvia Bognár, Ágnes Herczku and Bea Palya in the leaping dance of Sárköz, Ökrös Csaba in the song of Magyarbece, Máté Kalász in the song of Szék and Balázs Szokolay Dongó in the song of Somogy.


Karaván Família

Founded in 2004, the Karaván Família is the only known family band whose sound is based on the personal and musical harmony between the parents and their children. Over the past 13 years, they have created their own world with their songs, diversity and refined taste, bringing a new colour to the Hungarian and international world music scene. Building on Gypsy folk music, they boldly use and combine different musical styles, making them easy on the ears. In addition to their clear, acoustic arrangements, they launched a more modern-sounding world music project in 2017.



The Hungarian formation Esszencia is made up of seemingly contrasting concepts: folk, classical and jazz music; old and young; new and old, women and men; joyful and sad; traditional and progressive. Yet, these contradictions originating from the diversity of our world naturally coexist in their music in a way which we all desire in our everyday life as well: through respecting and learning from each other. The band cannot be compared to other, traditional folk bands. Its members each are well-known and acknowledged artists and musicians. Playing music together is an expression of their joy to experience unity in their diversity and thus creating an inner harmony that is unique to them. With their openness they are able to create a sound unlike anything else that is honest and, of course, characteristically Hungarian.

CONTACT: / +36 20 454 0407

Áron Dóra

Áron Dóra teaches Hungarian folk music on folk flutes at various art schools, camps and further trainings, safeguarding the Hungarian musical heritage. His main musical interest is Hungarian shepherd music of the Carpathian Basin, but he also travelled to several eastern countries where he had been researching and collecting similar musical relics. In 2006, as an instrumental artist, he received the Hungarian State Award of the Young Master of Folk Art.  In his story-telling, he uses the folk tales and tools of the traditional Hungarian peasant story-tellers. 

Zagyva Band

Over the past fifteen years, Zagyva Banda has become a decisive representative of the Hungarian Táncház movement. The band was brought up with the Táncház Method which is recognized by UNESCO. Zagyva is currently one the most active folk music bands in Hungary. They play authentic folk music from the Carpathian Basin, but they also deal with the culture of other nationalities living in the area. They are especially solicitous for cultivating the traditions of Galgamente, since the members’ family roots stem from here. In 2011, at a competition organized for violinists playing traditional Hungarian folk music, the band’s first violinist, Gellért Boda won the bronze medal. Following that, they published their first CD. In 2012, they started recording a CD-series in which they work upon the music of different ethnographic landscapes. They are currently working on the third disc. In 2015 the members organized a live concert that is available on CD and DVD as well.


Sára Tímár

A rising star of the folk scene, Junior Prima awardee Sára Tímár is well known among lovers of world and folk music in Hungary. An outstanding singer from the younger generation of the dancehouse movement, she has sung in countless bands and productions. She started her own band in 2009, and has given many concerts at home and abroad ever since. Her solo album came out in 2018 January with the title „What Shall I Call You” (Minek Nevezzelek..), which she presented at a sold out concert at the Liszt Music Academy. Her second album featuring Protestant psalms of gratitude was released the same year. She leads a folk music workshop and dancehouse at the Cultural Centre of Szentendre.

CONTACT: // Tímár Sára +36 30 427 7575


Drone instruments such as the hurdy-gurdy and bagpipe provide the backbone of Tallabille’s sound, over which Viktória Havay’s voice soars. Members had earned Young Master of Folk Arts titles and Junior Prima awards individually, to also receive the honour as a band in 2012. Their repertoire is rooted in the southern parts of the Great Plain – the main source of hurdy-gurdy tunes; but also features northern bagpipe music and archaic melodies from the Trans-Danubian Plain. Their mission is to uncover and popularize the musical heritage of Hungary’s Great Plain.

CONTACT: // Németh András +36 20 436 6796

László Szlama

Playing music since the age of 11, László Szlama is by now a master of plucked string instruments. Despite his youth, he is a viruoso of koboz and citera, teaching both at secondary and tertiary levels after his graduation from Liszt Music Academy in 2016. He was selected for the 50 Talented Hungarian Youth programme of La Femme magazine, and is mentored by award-winning opera singer Erika Miklósa. He plays in the bands Bordó Sárkány, PásztorHóra, Boró-Szlama and  Holddalanap.

CONTACT: // Szlama Laci +36 70 703 7650

Júlia Kubinyi

The deeply resonating voice and embellished singing of Júlia Kubinyi has earned her the Young Master of Folk Arts title in 2012, and Junior Prima award the following year. Still, most remember her as a finalist of the folk music talent show „Peacock”(Fölszállott a Páva) from 2012. She grew up with folk music, singing and dancing, performing at festivals at home and abroad, recording with bands since she was a child. She is a permanent member of Dűvő band since 2008, but also contributes to other folk music productions regularly. She is a recurring guest artist at the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble. Her solo debut album titled „I Walk Alone” (Magam Járom) came out in 2015.

CONTACT: // Kubinyi Júlia +36 30 739 0601