Transylvanian influences on klezmer music

conference — 29.10.2023 16:00

In the conference „Transylvanian influences on klezmer music” folk and klezmer musician and researcher Bob Cohen will present his more than three decade long ethnomusicological research, violinist, composer and educator Zoë Aqua her more recent research on the interchanges between Transylvanian multiethnic folk and klezmer music, and Csongor Könczei, ethnochoreologist, associateed professor and dance educator the results of his research on Transylvanian traditional instrumental music. The discussions will be moderated by Csilla Könczei, dance anthropologist and cultural researcher. The conference will be held in English and Hungarian, with Romanian, English and Hungarian simultaneous translation provided.

Since the late 80s Bob Cohen has conducted fieldwork research on the Jewish musical heritage of Hungary and Transylvania, including songs, dances and musical instruments. In 1993, he founded Di Naye Kapelye (The New Band), a band which approaches klezmer music as a living folk art, and presents it in the style it would have been performed in its heyday. Bob Cohen and Di Naye Kapelye performed at the opening festival of Tranzit House, We and Day in 1997.

As a violinist, composer and educator, Zoë Aqua spent two years researching Transylvanian folk music in the frame of a Fulbright research grant, being affiliated to Babeș-Bolyai University. In her research, as well as in her creative work through performance and composition, Zoë seeks to create connections between klezmer and Transylvanian music. She has worked closely with musicians in Transylvania and Maramureș, learning how to play in their unique styles and also interviewing them about how they learned to play as well as about the roles and contexts of folk music in their lives.

The social network and practice of the traditional musicians from Transylvania, especially the Roma, are among Csongor Könczei’s main research subjects. He published several studies and books on this theme, and he wrote his doctoral dissertation about the kinship and professional relations of the traditional musical dynasties of Călata region. Csongor Könczei is also a practicing musician and dancer, a choreographer and educator for amateur and professional ensembles, and founder of the Dance art department of the Sapientia University in Cluj where he teaches as an associate professor, and researcher at the ISPMN.

Fumie Suzuki
Photographer, Travel writer

Born in Tokyo, Japan, graduated Tama Art University in graphic design and photography. She traveled in Asian countries with her camera and came to Europe in 1998, moved to Budapest in 1999. Has photographed and written for magazines and travel guidebooks including “Time Out! travel guide”, “Frommer’s travel guide” and “Skyward” (Japan Airlines’ In-flight Magazine). She has been photographing the arts of Eastern Europe, particularly traditional life, folk music and musicians.

The event is part of the Tranzit Days - Retrospective XXVI segment, co-funded by the Department for Inter-ethnic Relations (DRI).

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