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Amsterdam Klezmer Band

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Szikra - Amsterdam Klezmer Band & Söndörgö / Netherlands/Hungary

An extraordinary cooperation of two famous bands from distant corners of Europe, which decided to create a great piece of art together. The members of the leading avant-klezmer and Balkan bands – the Dutch Amsterdam Klezmer Band and the Hungarian Söndörgő, joined together to form Szikra, and together they have a chance to become one of the biggest attractions of European festivals this summer. 

The Amsterdam Klezmer Band has been internationally successful for two decades thanks to its ecstatic, brilliant fusion of traditional klezmer, Balkan, Gypsy and contemporary music. It’s no wonder that they fit so perfectly with Söndörgő, a Hungarian band that proposed its own vision of traditional Balkan music. In recent years, Söndörgő has delighted audiences at many world music festivals thanks to its spectacular, energetic music performed exclusively on acoustic stringed instruments. They were rightfully dubbed “fast and furious” or “the fastest fingers of world music,” although the fast tempo of their songs was not just for show, but a kind of tribute to the musical tradition.  

“Both bands create and perform music with an open mind,” says Jasper de Beer, bassist of the Amsterdam Klezmer Band. “We are inspired by everything connected with klezmer, Balkan and Gypsy music. Söndörgő has a similar approach and neither of the bands is bound by tradition. This way, we can have a unique sound.” 

The idea of cooperation was proposed by the members of the Amsterdam Klezmer Band at the beginning of 2017. The reaction of the Hungarian musicians was enthusiastic. In spring, the artists met in the Netherlands to get to know each other both musically and personally. Together, they achieved extraordinary energy and an intriguing sound. Thus, Szikra – Hungarian for “spark” – was born.

The concert took place in 2018.

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