Kálmán Balogh is one of the foremost Hungarian cimbalom players, descending from a famous dynasty of Hungarian Gypsy musicians.
His virtuosity is matched only by his understanding and respect of his heritage. A graduate of Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music of Budapest, he has completed many successful tours throughout the world with various ensembles, including well over a dozen tours in North America. The cimbalom, a type of oversized hammer dulcimer played with mallets like a vibraphone, possesses piano-like percussive abilities to drive a band rhythmically or take the melodic lead. In Kálmán Balogh’s expert hands, the cimbalom can take on both roles simultaneously. His mastery of this unique and rare Hungarian folk instrument has mesmerized audiences around the world.
Cimbalogh Trio is the dynamic merging of music from the old and new worlds. Balogh continues a fabled European musical tradition relating back to the collaboration of masters like gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli, connecting ancient folk music traditions of Central and Eastern Europe with the chord progressions and swinging rhythm of jazz. Balogh’s cimbalom becomes a new and compelling voice at the centre of the trio, which is enhanced by acoustic violin/viola and acoustic bass. Similarities in jazz and traditional folk music, such as improvisation and a plethora of emotional expressions, are immediately evident.
The trio includes excellent musicians who have worked with Balogh extensively. Robert Lakatos, a viola and violin player from Slovakia, is steeped in classical music training and played with important classical orchestras, but always gravitated toward folk and world music. He plays in several groups ranging from classical to folk and jazz genres. Robert’s group, the RÉV, has become a popular band in Hungary and Slovakia. Bassist Csaba Novák is one of the most versatile bass players in Hungary, familiar with gypsy style, klezmer, folk music, jazz and world music. Melodies polished in European villages for centuries are interpreted with great respect and understood by The Gypsy Cimbalom Trio, enabling present day music lovers to experience the emotions and beauty in her music of our ancestors. Kálmán Balogh Gypsy Cimbalom Trio brings a contemporary and uniquely forward-looking edge to time-honoured traditions, leaving audiences enthralled and inspired.