PásztorHóra: a secret encounter of lovers
PásztorHóra: urban Csángó folk band
Five young virtuosos adding a pinch of Moldavia to the big city rush: they are PásztorHóra!
Ever since its foundation in 2014, the band has played on more than one hundred stages, in four countries, for at least ten thousand people. The fun lasts overnight – no wonder, no one can resist their pounding rhythms and swirling tunes. They jump back and forth on the border of world- and folk music, modern ideas fuse with old and new traditions, making PásztorHóra light and natural, yet powerful. The archaic style of old countrymen becomes a modern, 21st century drift, making it fit to today’s stages, proving that folk music is in fact historic and contemporary at the very same time.
Released this year, their first album summarizes their past five years very well. Its title: Soha el nem felejtelek /’Never going to forget you’/. The album bears the footsteps of the band’s life, as its members spent years preparing for it. Interoperability among styles is a trademark of the band. From early music to jazz, from pop to metal, each member has excelled in several genres of music. Balkan dynamics and classic elegance appear in their music hand-to hand, all forged into musical unity by their love for folk music. With their versatile personalities and fascinating concerts, the boys create an exceptional atmosphere, they create magic. They cast a spell you can’t escape!

“Although the influence of tradition and the old masters is clearly present, this rhythm is so contemporary and natural in every aspect, that no other genre-specific traits really matter.” Rácz Mihály, Lángoló Gitárok blog /’Flaming Guitars’ Blog/ (langologitarok.blog.hu)

“One of the best Moldavian albums released these recent years. Never going to forget you. Indeed.” Fehér Viktor, Kerekes Band

CONTACT: pasztorhora@gmail.com / +36 30 375 7556

En-fiddled Carpathians

En-fiddled Carpathians is an adventure in folk music, which came into existence at a concert in 2016, 110 years after our folk music researcher, Béla Bartók commenced his fieldwork in the Hungarian language area in order to explore previously unknown rustic folk music. Since then, a great amount of material and knowledge has been accumulated regarding the folk music and dance of the people in the Carpathian Basin.
As the title of the issue denotes, the music on the record soars over the Trianon borders, showcasing the heritage of the various nationalities in the Carpathian Basin, thus emphasising Bartók’s endeavour, that is the knowledge of the cultural tradition of the peoples living here can contribute to the reinforcement of the brotherhood of these peoples. Balázs Vizeli got to learn this kind of music first hand from old musicians many of whom regrettably passed away. Yet, passing on the tradition hasn’t been broken, as Vizeli and his student, Attila Mihó recall the music of the old world.
En-fiddled Carpathians is a homage to the old masters and those without whom today’s folk music movement and scene wouldn’t have happened. On the album, Balázs Istvánfi plays dance-tunes from a North Hungarian piper’s repertoire, whereas Soma Salamon recalls the playing of flute players from Somogy, Szék, Magyarbece, Gyimes and Magyarszóvát.


Rita Ocskay and Friends

Rita Ocskay violinist and music teacher fell in love with the embellished string music of Bonchida, a village in Transylvania with a unique musical dialect. She combined her studies at the Liszt Academy of Music, interviews conducted in Bonchida and Válaszút in 2013-14, and invited musicians with family ties or affiliation to Bonchida to record an album. Oszkay and her friends aim to recreate the music of legendary village musicians, and the rich Bonchida string sound bearing traces of the local landlord’s influence. Dóra Rózsa Benkő, Ágnes and Tamás Enyedi (with family roots in Bonchida), Márton „Kispuma” Fekete, Attila Halmos, Bálint Huszthy and András Lelkes contribute their skill on this unique album.

CONTACT: ocskayrita@gmail.com / +36 20 823 3499

Násfa Band

„Násfa”, an ornate gold pendant inlaid with precious stone, is a carefully crafted work of art abandoned by today’s fast-paced consumerism. Musicians of Násfa band chose the name to draw a parallel between the treasure of folk music, carefully crafted over the centuries by our forebears, as multi-coloured as light reflected off precious stones, and often neglected by today’s world. The three members met at Liszt Music Academy, and play the Hungarian folk tradition in its rich variety from Somogy in the Southwest of Hungary to Moldavia in Romania.

CONTACT: juhaszkitti.music@gmail.com 

Márványos Tambura Band

The unique Hungarian instrument, tarogato takes centre stage at our concerts, accompanied by skillful solos, spirited cimbalom and the rich sound of tamburas. We play gems of the Hungarian folk tradition and popular bell-époque melodies rearranged for these instruments. Our music evokes the experience of both urban and country folk: their lives, loves, happiness, hope and bursts of joy captured in the lavish tunes. A regular guest at the prestigious MUPA – Palace of Arts, the band also represented Hungary in Montenegro, invited by public broadcaster RTV, and still plays regularly at weddings, festivals and village feasts.

CONTACT: tamburamarvanyos@gmail.com / +36 70 615 4953

Julcsi Kubinyi Trio

The music of this young trio is centered around the voice of Julcsi Kubinyi, to which emblematic folk instruments like the violin, bagpipe, gardon, flute, kaval, koboz or citera are added by her two companions. Smaller than a regular string band, the three musicians still provide a rich and colourful sound and innovative arrangements of a broadly understood folk heritage. They cover regions and melodies from Trans-Danubia to Moldavia and the Transylvanian Heath, in an original yet authentic style.

CONTACT: kubinyi.julia@gmail.com // info.dudaszo@gmail.com


The mission of Korinda is to authentically interpret the traditional folk music of the Eastern edges of Hungarian speaking language areas. The band’s founders gained the basics of their musical knowledge from chapters of Szeged’s folk music scene: members of Mentés Másként Együttes, and András Hodorog, Moldavian shepherd’s flute virtuoso. They played a significant part in creating Korinda’s unique style of sound. The band strives for a simple and clean representation of the music learned from original recordings and informants, while continuously seeking opportunities for individual interpretations and unique expression.
Although the band’s main musical direction is that of Moldavian Csango folk music, their repertoire also comprises the Hungarian and Romanian ethnic ballads of Ghimeș, Burzenland, Székely Land and Bukovina. They regularly return to Moldavia and Transylvania to collect and research music, as it is their conviction to establish and foster personal relationships with older village musicians who are still alive.

CONTACT: korindaband@gmail.com / +36 30 602 1733

Herczku Ági

As the principal soloist with the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble, Ági Herczku’s traditional music credentials are cast-iron, but the personality-laden singer is also an innovative folk-fusion pioneer, cheerfully merging Bulgarian, Turkish and other East European elements into a broad palette of Hungarian styles, expertly enabled by her virtuosic band.
Her latest album, Bandázom, (which actually means something like “I’m with the band”), was produced by the Bulgarian-born multi-instrumentalist, Nikola Parov, who adds guitars, bouzouki, kaval, kanun and fulsome bonhomie to the accomplished artistry being effortlessly displayed on fiddles, bass, accordion and percussion by the rest of the ensemble. Ági floats and dances and sings sublimely on top, extending an unrefusable invitation to immerse yourself in some of the finest and most entertaining modern traditional sounds from the heart of Eastern Europe.
The album Bandázom (Hanging out) was reviewed in Songlines Magazineand one of its tracks: Gyimesi Karszilamasz was chosen into the compilation album of Songlines and WOMEX 2015. Bandázom reached quickly 10th place on World Music Charts Europe in March 2015.

CONTACT: ildiko.accord@gmail.com / +36 20 383 0533

Havay Viktória

Viktória Havay is a folk singer, ethnographer, Young Master of Folk Art. She is the singer of ‘Horsa Banda’ and ‘Viktória Havay and the Cápok’ bands, among other musical projects. Earlier, she sang in the Tallabille, Csürrentő, and Fiastyúk Ensembles, with whom she released numerous records.
Her main purpose is to introduce authentic Hungarian folk songs and folk music with the Hungarian and foreign audiences, as well as the authentic mediation of the folk song in use for all generations. The most significant teachers were Éva Fábián, Anna Hideg (Ördögösfüzes), Eszter Tankó (Gyimesfelsőlok) and Erzsébet Bálint (Klézse). Her first solo album was published in 2019.

CONTACT: havay.viktoria@gmail.com / +36 70 295 7308

Gajdos Band

The intention of the Gajdos Band is to propagate the beauty and eternal value of Hungarian folk music. We want to show that authentic Hungarian folk music has retained its freshness and vigour even in the 21st century, and it can suit the musical taste of the new age easily.
The members of the band are many-sided musicians, so we can interpret the musical dialects of the whole Hungarian-speaking area.
We have been awarded the highest honours of our profession, the Young Master of Folk Arts title.At our concerts – besides authentic folk music – adaptations can also be heard, which can be put into the category of ‘world music’. In these pieces classical musical elements, musical solutions typical of pop music, and authentic folk music sounding make up a special unity, which results in the particular acoustic effects typical of the Gajdos Band.

CONTACT: info@gajdoszenekar.hu / +36 30 454 9546