Elemér Balázs was born in 1967, in Ózd. His parents realized at an early age that he has got a great affinity to rhythms. He started his musical studies when he was only 6 at the Rózsa Ferenc utcai Vasutasok Music School, where his teachers were Imre Kőszegi and József Gáti. Later on his teacher was Iván Nesztor at the Postás /Erkel Ferenc/ Music School. In 1983 Elemér got into the Jazz department of Bartók Béla Music School as an exceptional talent, where his drum teacher was Gyula Kovács. Next to the music academy he finished his high school studies on night school. Soon he played together with the most titled musicians in Hungary as they payed attention to him at a very young age. Until nowadays he already played with all of the great hungarian jazz musicians, like Dezső Ablakos Lakatos, GYula Babos, Balázs Berkes, Katalin Bontovics, Gyula Csepregi, László Dés, Gábor Gadó, Attila László, Aladár Pege, Ferenc Snétberger, Béla Szakcsi Lakatos or György Vukán…
Elemér is an important part of local jazz life as a drummer as well as a composer. He achieved great successes with his past and current bands. One of these band was called No-spa, which ended up third place in the Jazz Hoeilaart Competition in Brussels in 1989, and won the first place on the International Jazz Festival in Leverkusen one year later. Trio Midnight, which is an active band for 25 years had also great successes. Elemér plays in this band with the composer and pianist Kálmán Oláh and the talented doublebass player János Egri. Trio Midnight is a significant jazz band of it’s generation. One of their success was the winning first place on Jazz Hoeilaart. Creative Art Trio played an important part in his life as well, where he played together with the famous composer and pianist György Vukán, and with Balázs Berkes on doublebass. Some of his main bands: Joy, Gadó Gábor Trio, Babos Gyula Trio, Szakcsi Lakatos Béla Trio, Dés László Septet, Oláh Kálmán Sextet.
Elemér’s special drumming can be heard on almost a hundred albums. He is still an active drummer of the following bands: Trio Midnight, Balázs József Quintet, Szakcsi Jr. Trio, Szulák Andrea Quintet, Dés László – Balázs Elemér Quartet (Contemporary Gregorian), Pintér Zoltán Trio, Oláh Kálmán Sextet, CB Trio.
He attended to numerous jazz festivals all over the world, like in Perugia, Marciac, Nünberg, Zurich, Munich, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Bratislava, Ciney, Dinant, Detroit, Getxo, Brussels, Vienna, Bangkok, Toronto, Quebec or London. He worked together with famous musicians like Annette Lowman, Stjepko Gut, Zbigniew Namyslowski, Jukka Perkó, Paolo Fresu, Stephane Belmondo, Steve Houben, Lee Konitz, Art Farmer, Pat Metheny, Rick Margitza, Charlie Mariano, Randy Brecker, Al Jarreau, Nicholas Payton, Ben Monder, Dave Liebman, Darryl Jones, Joe Lovano and Tim Ries.
Pat Metheny, world-wide known jazz guitarist spoke of him in high terms: “In my opinion Elemér is one of the best drummers today. He plays with incomparable musicality and fineness. He is able to listen to every single musical moment with such attention, he is able to make such fine and spontaneous decisions on stage, that only encourages the quality of the play of the other musicians. He reaches out of his instrument with great taste. I always play with him with joy and so do I listen to his music.”
Elemér always took a good care of choosing his bands. In 1990 he created his first Quintet under his name and later on they made three albums. The album called Always that moment won the “Jazz Album of the Year” in 2000 by the votes of Gramofon magazine. He created Balázs Elemér Group in that year as well, which is one of the most successful jazz band in Hungary. The audience started to like them straight after their first album, Around the World. The band grew itself out into regular performer of numerous jazz- and other music festivals and clubs at home as well as abroad. The band has got eight albums and one concert DVD until now:
Around The World (2002)
Our Worlds Beyond (2003)
Refracting Sounds (2004)
Hungarian Folk Songs - Magyar Népdalok (2005)
Best& Live 2001-2006 Concert in Budapest (live DVD) (2007)
Early Music (2007)
Memories (Dedicated to our mother) (2009)
The New BEGinning (2013)
BEG 15 - Örök szerelem (2015)
The album Refracting Sounds achieved Fonogram Award in 2005, one year later another album of the group, Hungarian Folk Songs got a gold record. Acknowledged musicians like László Dés, Mihály Dresch, Tim Ries, Charlie Mariano and Nuria Rial can be also heard on their albums.
Elemér and his brother József composed the music of the Film Getnó (by András Salamon), in which the Group was also playing apart.
Since 2006 Elemér gives concerts regularly with Tim Ries, the world-wide known american saxophone player in a lot’s of formations. They played together more times in Hungary and also in a lot of european and american clubs and jazz festivals, for example Deer Head Inn, Smalls, Jazz Standard, Regatta or Blue Note.
2000 – Gramofon Award „Jazz Album of the Year ” (Balázs Elemér Quintet - Always That Moment)
2001 - Józsefvárosért Award
2005 - Fonogram Award „Jazz Album of the Year” (Balázs Elemér Group - Refracting Sounds)
2005 - Honour of the Hungarian Republic Order’s Silver Cross
2006 – Artisjus Award (Dés László – Balázs Elemér Quartet - Contemporary Gregorian)
2012 – Story Award
Kiss Flóra, dalszerző, szólóénekes, csaknem egy évtizede foglalkozik énekléssel. A Kőbányai Zenei Iskolában folytatott tanulmányai alatt a zenei műfajokon átívelő hangszeres zenészek melletti kreatív jelenlét jellemezte a munkásságát.
2014-ben a Fekete-Kovács Kornél Sextettjének tagjaként, és a Modern Art Orchestra rendszeres vendégénekese, 3 koncerten énekelhet egy színpadon Mike Garsonnal a David Bowie Band billentyűsével.
Vokalistaként dolgozott HOBO Requeim a bluesért című albumán és lemezbemutató koncertjein, az Emil Rulez! zenekar "Gyere át!" című albumán, valamint Szalóki Ági 2014-ben megjelent Körforgás című lemezanyagának bemutatóján és több koncertjén, 2014-ben a Swing című magyar nagyjátékfilmben Törőcsik Franciska énekhangja volt.
Jazz-munkái mellett, saját zenekarával, a Flo-val készíti első nagylemezét.
2016 ősze óta tagja a Balázs Elemér Groupnak.
Milán Szakonyi was born in 1991 in Keszthely. He started school at Zalaszántó, and later on he went to Vajda János High School in Keszthely. During this years he made certain that he wants to deal with music. He took part in organizing school events and basically in everything which was connected to music. Milán learned classical piano at Festetics György Music School, he also has experiences with theatricals, singing musicals, playing on the guitar. After his high-school graduation in 2010 he got into the Kőbányai Music Studio, where his teachers were Bea Munkácsi and Tamás Berki. He had the chance to learn from a lot of acknowledged musicians, he gained a lot of experiences during this time.
Besides his dance orchestra - which he is a member of since 2005 - Milán joined more bands. He is a founder member of the Budapest Voices acapella Group and of flo, where he plays on the keyboard. He was one of the vocalists in Boglárka Csemer’s show at the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna. He is a member of the Group since 2013, which he thinks of as his career’s biggest milestone.
Albums he plays in:
Balázs Elemér Group - The New BEGinning (2013)
Budapest Voices - Alternatívák (2014)
BOGGIE- All is one is all ( 2014 )
KEX - Remake ( 2014 )
flo - Hold the breath (2015)
Balázs Elemér Group - BEG 15 - Örök szerelem ( 2015 )
József Balázs was born in Budapest, 1978. He is one of the most significant pianist and composer of his generation. He first got known from his brother, Elemér Balázs’s album “My new way”. Next to his brother, József is the key member of one of the most successful band in Hungary, the Balázs Elemér Group since it’s establishment as a composer as well as an orchestrator. He got second best on the Füsti Balogh Gábor Jazz Piano Competition and won the best soloist award on the Jazz Juniors Competition in Krakow. Furthermore he achieved the Ablakos Lakatos Dezső jazz performers stipendium in 2007. He played together with well-known musicians such as Erik Truffaz, Stéphane Belmondo, Bobbie Watson, Charlie Mariano, Robin Eubanks, Steve Houben, Nicholas Payton or Tim Ries. He founded Balázs József Quintet in 2007, which first album came out in 2008 with the title of “I Don’t Got You Mean”.
Besides his successes in jazz he is an acknowledged orchestrator in different music genres. He also founded his etnojazz formation East Gipsy Band in 2010, which combines jazz with gipsy music from all around the world. East Gipsy Band joins together the great musicians of local jazz life with the major figures of gipsy music: József Balázs - keyboard, Elemér Balázs - drums, Jr. Lajos Sárközi - violin, Gyögy Orbán - doublebass, Vilmos Oláh - dulcimer, Gusztáv Balogh - vocal. Their first album “Ageless Message” came out in 2011. Tim Ries, world-wide known american saxophonist participates on this album as well. The band had already lots of concerts in various jazz clubs in the cities of New York, Toronto, Brussels or London. Among other things they had a performance in one of the oldest american jazz club, in Deer Head Inn - Pennsylvania, in Blue Note, Jazz Standard, Smalls Jazz Club - New York, Regattabar - Boston, Hugh’s Room - Toronto, and on the well-known Detroit Jazz Festival. The band is working on it’s second album at the moment.
Áron Komjáti was born in 1986 in Pécs. He started to learn on classical guitar at the local music school when he was 7. After six years of learning to play on the guitar, his interest changed into softer music genres. In 2005, after high school graduation Áron went to Egressy Béni Music School in Budapest, where he was a pupil of Csaba Czirják. In 2011 he took a degree at the Jazz department of Liszt Academy, where his teachers were e.g. Gyula Babos and Sándor Horányi. He won a year long scholarship program of the Academy. He attended to Bayreuth Festival with a deputed band via the International World Liszt Day Program.
Áron teaches classical guitar at the music school in Dunaharaszti (near Budapest) since 2010.
He is an active member of the music scene of Budapest. He regularly plays in hungarian festivals with his own bands as well as with different kinds of jazz, etno and pop bands. He also attends to theatrical performance as a composer and as a musician.
Áron is a member of Balázs Elemér Group since June, 2012. He had concerts with the Group on many jazz festivals in Hungary and abroad as well, that is how he had the chance to play with Stéphane Belmondo (trumpet) and Tim Ries (sax). He also took part in the Group’s new Album “The New BEGinning” (2013), as well as in the Jubilee Album (2015).
Since September of 2012 Áron is a constant member of Kornél Fekete-Kovács’s band Modern Art Orchestra. They joined in two american tours during this time, besides several hungarian festivals. Being a member of Modern Art Orchestra Áron had the chance to play together with David Liebman, Bob Mintzer, Chris Potter, Mike Garson, Sherry Williams, Kurt Elling, Tony Lakatos, Adam Nussbaum, Bireli Lagrene, the New york Voices and with the Harlem Gospel Choir. In 2013 he contributed in Kristóf Bacsó’s Album “Circular”.
Krisztián Pecek Lakatos was born in 1989. He started to play on the doublebass when he was 9 years old. Krisztián started to learn classical music at Tóth Aladár Music School which he continued later at Bartók Béla Conservatory. He develpoed himself in Jazz autodidact. In 2003, when he was only 13, he won a Jazz doublebass competition of the Hungarian Radio, where the age limit was 30. The Jury was John Patitucci, whom Krisztián played together with on a Gala Concert. As the price of this competition he could make his first Album wit the Titel “Young man with a big bass”. In 2007 he played together with Jr. Béla Szakcsi Lakatos and with a world-famous Jazz drummer, Ed Thigpen. In January 2012 he played with Elemér Balázs, József Balázs and two also famous Jazz musicians, Nicholas Payton and Tim Ries at the Palace of Arts. His solo Album "In Memory of..." was out in 2012, with his own compositions. In 2013 he was on tour in Switzerland with Róbert Szakcsi Lakatos and also made an Album together with Gregory Hutchinson. He started to compose when he was 16.
World-famous Jazz musicians he played with:
Bands he plays in:
Szakcsi Lakatos Róbert Trio
Balázs Elemér Group
Albums he plays a part:
Szakcsi Jr Trio: Psalms
Szakcsi Lakatos Róbert Trio: But Not For Me, Bumerang, Robithology, Sepia
Vukan Trio: A Vihar (The Tempest), Last message
Szulák Andrea Quintet: Szeretni Bolondulásig
East Gipsy Band: Ageless message (Featuring Tim Ries)
Balázs Elemér Group: The New BEGinning
Balázs József Quintet: I don't got you mean
László Attila: Babel
Babos Gyula: Rapsodia
V4 Octet : Dialogue In Music
Jazzmer Band : Teuere Briders
Young Man With a Big Bass
In Memory of....
József Czibere was born in 1977 in Hajdúböszörmény (eastern part of Hungary). He began his percussion lessons in the local music school at 11 and continued to take private lessons from László Sándor. In 1995, he moved to Budapest and acquired his first set of congas. He joined the bands Wei Wu Wei and The Eichinger. In 2001, he played in Klári Katona’s group and, in the following year, as a session musician in one of Hungary’s most famous group, LGT. He is also featured on the Budapest Jazz Orchestra’s first album (Budapest Jazz Suite). In 2003, he moved to the UK and taught children in music and elementary schools how to play the drums. He was invited to join Victor Davis’s band and traveled with them to Japan and almost all counties of Europe. In 2006, he moved back to Budapest. In January 2008, he was invited by Elemér Balázs to join his Group. From 2009 He joint to Tibor Tatrai at the Tatrai Trend quartett. In 2012 He started to teach at the Snétberger Music Center. From 2014 He became a member of the Révész Richard's latin trio.