North America’s Preeminent Hungarian Folk Music Ensemble.
The Életfa Hungarian Folk Band is from the New Jersey/New York area. The Ensemble treats its audiences to a high-energy, entertaining tour of Hungary’s folk music, song and dance culture, guided throughout by engaging narrative and demonstrations. The group’s members specialize in and present the authentic, archaic folklore from the villages of present-day Hungary, Transylvania, Romania, Slovakia and beyond, delivered in a style suitable for Western audiences. The members of Életfa are all driven by their love and respect for Hungarian folk music and dance, the importance in preserving Hungarian dance, music and culture in North America, and the dedication to performing and spreading the joy of music, song and dance.
Életfa played at Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic in a "Behind the Music" program featuring the music of Brahms, hosted by actor Alec Baldwin. Életfa has also performed as part of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's community-oriented program.
The band has appeared in cities throughout North America, including Austin, New Orleans, Sarasota, Toronto, San Francisco, Columbus, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Montreal, Houston, Washington, D.C., Miami, Boston, Calgary and Cleveland.
The group has appeared with several well-known Hungarian artists, including Kálmán Balogh, János Csik, András Berecz, Dénes Hruz, Zsuráfszky Zoltán, and Ferenc Tobak. Életfa has accompanied top dance groups of the United States and Canada and has played for audiences at countless festivals, camps, workshops, and solo performances. The ensemble has played live on WFMU (91.1 FM) in New Jersey and has received considerable airplay on U.S. and Hungarian radio, including on WNYC (93.9 FM).
“For over thirteen years Életfa has enjoyed success throughout America, and the CD Gyökereink shows why: from the authentic violin-based group sound to classic Hungarian folk stylings, Életfa has traditional Hungary down pat. Some players are born in the US and some in Hungary, but no matter where their source, the sound is authentic and lively, packed with folk spirit….The band plays for Hungarian enclaves around the U.S. – catch them if you can, Életfa spends a lot of time on the road, touring the country.”
“The Hungarian-Americans in Életfa perform traditional music and dance from Hungary and Transylvania. Playing centuries-old music that retains a celebratory immediacy, the group….sounds ageless and in the moment all at once.”
“An absolutely compelling and zesty album featuring the village music from Hungary and Transylvania by this New Jersey-based group. Being the most recognized Hungarian folk band in North America, 'who have kept people klicking their heels and slapping their feet for nearly two decades,’ the Életfa Hungarian Folk Band delivers with pure, shining musicianship.”
01. Lőrincrévi emlékek
02. Magyarnemegyei muzsika
04. Széki ballada
05. Marosszéki dalok
06. Mérai cigánycsárdás
07. Gyimesi kerekes es magyaros
11. Árpádhoni szüreti mulatság
12. Mezőkölpényi dalok
13. Nem úgy van most mint volt régen
15. Kalotaszegi búcsúzás
Katalin Harsáczki (“Kata”) - vocals
Ildikó Hajdu-Németh (“Ildi”) - violin, vocals
László Hajdu-Németh (“Laci”) - kontra (3-string viola)
József Gartai (“Heki”)- cimbalom and kontra (3-string viola)
Raul Rothblatt (“Raci”) - 3-string bass, string cello, percussive cello
Attila Papp (“Acsi”) - 3-string bass, percussive cello
Kalman Magyar (“Öcsi”) - violin, viola, trumpet-violin, various folk instruments