The number one jazz/world fusion band of HungaryDjabe is the number 1 jazz/world fusion band in Hungary. It was established 20 years ago and since then, Djabe won numerous domestic and international awards and recognitions. Since 2007 Djabe has joint concerts regularly with the former guitarist of Genesis, Steve Hackett. From 2002, the band gave concerts in 42 countries throughout Europe, Asia and North-America. Djabe is one of the most invited Hungarian bands by international festivals.
Just to name a few of the most important venues:
Rochester, Baltimore, Washington DC, San Jose – USA; Kaslo, Toronto – Canada; Burghausen, Berlin, Regensburg, München – Germany; Klaipeda, Kaunas – Lithuania; Riga – Latvia; Pori, Imatra – Finland; Glogow, Cracow, Warsaw – Poland; Stockholm – Sweden; London – England; Hradec Králové, Prague – Czech Republic; Bansko – Bulgaria; Graz, Vienna, Wiesen – Austria; Sarajevo – Bosnia and Herzegovina; Udine – Italy; Sines, Portiamo – Portugal; Baku – Azerbaijan; Seben, Garana – Romania; Nis, Novi Sad – Serbia, Ulaanbaatar – Mongolia; Almaty – Kazahstan; Bishkek – Kirgistan; Kuala Lumpur, Penang – Malaysia, Dubai – United Arab Emirates, Koktebel – Ukraine; The Hague – The Netherlands; Zagreb, Dubrovnik – Croatia; Bratislava – Slovakia; Crete – Greece; Moscow, Kaliningrad – Russia.
Djabe plays unique music in which the elements of jazz are mixed with various parts of Hungarian and world music. The main composer of the band is Tamás Barabás, who – at the same time – is the most virtuoso Hungarian bass guitarist. Jazz and authentic Hungarian music are simultaneously present in the play of Ferenc Kovács. According to Archie Shepp, who worked with Ferenc Kovács on several occasions “he is one of the best violin players in the world and in the meantime plays the trumpet like Miles Davis”. He also worked with Dave Murray, Balanescu and Hamid Drake.
The pianist, Zoltán Kovács’s colourful play, sometimes tending to be classical, increases the standard of Djabe’s performance on a large scale.
Djabe means freedom in the African Ashanti language. The founder and other composer of the band is Attila Égerházi – playing the guitar and being the leader of the band, too –, who interprets this freedom primarily by freely mixing the styles and instruments. Djabe’s drummer, Szilárd Banai is one of the most talented Hungarian jazz drummers, his reliable and musical play gives the best possible rhytmic background of the band.
As a sound engineer, the arranger of the band, Tamas Barabas has won the recognition of the experts at Abbey Road with the 5.1 surroud mixing of ‘Sheafs are Dancing’. This release was nominated to surround music award in Los Angeles in 2004.
The outstanding project of the band, the show of ‘Djabe special guest Steve Hackett’ not only contains Steve playing Djabe tunes, it includes playing Genesis and Hackett classics with Djabe. At the Garana Jazz Festival in Romania, 13.000 music fans enjoyed the music of Djabe and Steve.
Djabe in the past 20 years worked together with several foreign and domestic musicians. Ben Castle saxophonist (The Brand New Heavies, Sting, Jamie Cullum) can be heard on 4 albums and 3 concert releases of Djabe, as he also toured with the band. John Nugent, American saxophonist (Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Carla Bay) plays on the album Take On and regularly participates in Djabe’s concerts. Malik Mansurov is the master of the ancient instrument of Azerbaijan, the tar – Djabe played with him in Baku and in Hungary as well in addition he can be heard on the album Take On. From the domestic musicians we have to emphasize 2 saxophonists, Mihály Dresch and Viktor Tóth.
The current lineup of Djabe are:
Barabás Tamás - bass guitar
Égerházi Attila - guitar, percussion
Kovács Ferenc - trumpet, violin, vocal
Banai Szilárd - drums
Kovács Zoltán - piano, keyboards