Artist Profiles: Kálmán Balogh & Gypsy Jazz

Kálmán Balogh & Gypsy Jazz

Kálmán Balogh is one of the leading 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 Listz Academy of Music of Budapest, he has completed many successful tours throughout the world with various ensembles, including three tours in North America.

The cimbalom, a sort of oversized autoharp or duclcimer 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 do both simultaneously. His mastery of this unique and rare Hungarian folk instrument has mesmerized audiences.

Kálmán Balogh & Gypsy Jazz is the dynamic merging of music from the old and new worlds. Balogh continues a fabled European musical tradition harking back to the collaboration of masters like gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli, connecting the ancient folk music traditions of Central and Eastern Europe with the chord progressions and swing of jazz. With Gypsy Jazz, Balogh’s cimbalom becomes a new and compelling voice centering a band which also includes acoustic bass, acoustic guitar, trumpet, and violins. Similarities in jazz and traditional folk music, such as improvisation and a kaleidoscope of emotional expressions, are immediately evident.

Melodies which were created and transmitted in European villages for centuries are performed with great respect and understanding by Gypsy Jazz, enabling present day music lovers to experience the emotions and beauty inherent in the music of our ancestors.

In addition to concerts, Kálmán Balogh & Gypsy Jazz, conduct workshops, master classes, and teaching residencies on Gypsy Jazz and on the cimbalom.


Roma vándor (1995)
Gypsy Music From Hungarian Villages (1996)
Gypsy Colours (1997)
The Art of The Gypsy Cimbalom (ARC Music, 1998)
Gypsy Colours, wiyth Romano Kokalo (FolkEurópa, 1999)
Gipsy Jazz (Rounder Records, 1999)
Aroma (FolkEurópa, 2003)
David Murray, Kovács Ferenc and Balogh Kálmán & Gipsy Cimbalom Band (Fonó, 2005)
Karácsonyi Örömzene (Gryllus, 2005)
Ó, szép fényes hajnalcsillag – Hungarian folksongs for Christmas, with Korpás Éva (FolkEurópa, 2005)
Gypsy Music From Hungary (ARC Music, 2007)
Aven Shavale (FolkEurópa, 2007)
Master of the Gypsy Cimbalom (ARC Music, 2008)
Live in Germany (Traditional Crossroads, 2007)
Délibáb (FolkEurópa, 2010)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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