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25 Sep 2013 19:00

Visegrad All Stars Concert featuring Robert Balzar

The top Czech bassist Robert Balzar will perform as part of a concert featuring a unique jazz formation - 'Visegrad All Stars'. The group comes together for this one event and includes some of the most talented musicians from the Visegrad countries – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – as well as the UK. Organised by EBRD and Hungarian Cultural Centre London in partnership with the Czech Centre and other partners.

Admission is free, but prior email registration via EBRDevents@ebrd.com is essential.

The concert starts at 19.00, with welcoming drinks from 18:00 in the foyer.
There will also be a reception for all participants after the concert.


Top Czech bassist Robert Balzar has rightly earned the admiration of his world famous fellow countryman, George Mraz, who had this to say of his playing: “He sound is great, his solos are thought through, he's got unerring rhythm, he creates just the right sound for the band.” When Robert's trio recorded with American star guitarist John Abercrombie reviewer Bill Milkowski remarked that “(Balzar) demonstrates a deep woody tone along with impeccable time and a penchant for agile counterpoint”.

Béla Szakcsi Lakatos, the world-famous Hungarian pianist, is the leading Roma jazz musician in the country. He is constantly exploring his ancient roots while preserving his own unique style. Alyn Shipton in The Times wrote of “the brilliantly eccentric pianism of Béla Szakcsi Lakatos”, while John Fordham of The Guardian simply stated that “pianist Béla Szakcsi Lakatos is wonderful”. In November 2007 he and his augmented group represented Hungary at the London Jazz Festival. His hugely successful concert was broadcast live by Radio 3.

The brilliant, hard-driving Polish saxophonist, Maciej Sikala, took first place in the Jazz Forum magazine readers' poll in the tenor sax category during the years 1995-2005. He has played with almost everyone who is anyone on the Polish jazz scene, and has also worked with the likes of Lester Bowie, Kenny Wheeler, Billy Harper, Billy Hart, Joanne Brackeen, David Liebman and Reggie Workman. He is a lecturer in jazz saxophone at the Academy of Music in Gdansk and the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz.

Slovak drummer David Hodek, 16 years old, started playing at the age of three. When he turned four David not only played at the level of a gifted teenager but was also able to read musical scores. In the same year he became a member of a blues band. His discovery of jazz opened a new world to him. By now he has played with most of the top-line jazz musicians in central Europe, and he brought the house down at Ronnie Scott's in London. His well-earned place in the Visegrad All Stars is not a publicity stunt.

Steve Fishwick is widely considered to be one of the best jazz trumpet players ever to come from the UK, and is rapidly gaining a global reputation thanks to his flawless technique, and his beautifully flowing, harmonically rich improvisations. He has already played with numerous jazz legends, such as George Mraz, Scott Hamilton, Ken Peplowski, Herb Geller, Bob Cranshaw, Lew Soloff, Ronnie Cuber, Anita O'Day – and the list is far from complete! He won the 2002 British Jazz Awards “Rising Star” prize.


Organised by the EBRD and Hungarian Cultural Centre London, in partnership with the Czech Centre, the Embassy of the Slovak Republic and the Polish Cultural Institute.






7 PM; EBRD Auditorium, 1 Exchange Square, London EC2A 2JN


25 Sep 2013 19:00


Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event

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