Kalman Magyar was born in New Jersey in 1973 to Hungarian immigrant parents who were actively involved in the perpetuation of their heritage throughout North America. At the age of five, Kalman was introduced to the violin through the Suzuki Method, and went on to study for a decade with Stanley Bednar at the Manhattan School of Musicâ€™s Preparatory Division, where he also studied piano and viola, in addition to his intensive work in jazz, composition and theory. He rose to become the Schoolâ€™s principal violist until his graduation in 1991.
Parallel with his rigorous classical and jazz training, Kalman studied at folk music camps and seminars throughout the United States and Hungary. His early mentors included the late legendary Transylvanian fiddler SÃ¡ndor Fodor â€œNetiâ€ and BÃ©la Halmos, one of the â€œGodfathersâ€ of the Hungarian folk music revival movement. In 1987, together with his sister Ildiko and fellow HungÃ¡ria Folkdance Ensemble member Attila Papp, he founded the Eletfa Hungarian Folk Music Band, which still exists today and is one of the United Statesâ€™ treasured assets of world music.
In 1991, Kalman was awarded a prestigious full scholarship from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh to perform with the Tamburitzans, the nationâ€™s leading Eastern European music and dance troupe. He toured within all four corners of the North American continent while receiving a Bachelors in Science degree, cum laude, from Duquesneâ€™s Business School. Through the Tamburitzans, Kalman was exposed to the fascinating world of Romanian and Balkan music, which was a logical extension of his Hungarian background.
In 1995, Kalman returned to the New Jersey area, maintaining his ambitious performing schedule while studying at Brooklyn Law School and subsequently passing the New Jersey and New York State Bar Examinations. He formed the Continental Dance Orchestra, the leading American-Hungarian â€œwedding bandâ€ in the United States, and helped build Ã‰letfa into an internationally-known ensemble. He was a founding member of Dallam-Dougou, a fusion between West-African and Hungarian musical styles with a jazz twist, and performed for many years with New Yorkâ€™s Equinox rock band. His vision also helped shape the maverick group Crossing Paths.
Kalmanâ€™s classical, jazz and folk musical education and intensive performing experience has propelled him to become one of the most in-demand violinists in the Hungarian, Romanian, Balkan, Gypsy, and Gypsy-Jazz styles, with the ability of offering wide-ranging improvisative skills. Although his primary instruments are the violin (electric and acoustic) and keyboards, Kalman also plays the viola, trumpet-violin, Hungarian kontra, bass guitar, and double bass, as well as unique folk instruments such as the hurdy-gurdy, tambura, jewâ€™s harp, and Ã¼tÃµ-gardon [Transylvanian percussive cello].
Kalman has collaborated and performed with several well-known artists, including the Mark Morris Dance Group, MÃ¡rta SebestyÃ©n, Raif Hyseni & Merita Halili, KÃ¡lmÃ¡n Balogh Gypsy Band, Souren Baronian, Ã–krÃ¶s Ensemble, Ivan Milev, Harmonia, Beyond the Pale, and Zlatne Uste. In 2003, Kalman was plucked from a great number of violinists to audition for Cirque du Soleil by its casting department. He has played for celebrities, politicians and dignitaries at the United Nations, Hungarian Consulate in New York, the Hungarian Embassy in Washington, D.C., the New York and New Jersey Governorsâ€™ Mansions, the Hungarian Cultural Centre in London, New York City's Gracie Mansion, and even at a U.S. Senatorâ€™s private residence.
Kalman has appeared in world-class venues such as Epcot Center (Orlando, Florida), Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.), B.B. Kingâ€™s Blues Club (NYC), Alice Tully Hall (Lincoln Center), Joeâ€™s Pub (NYC), Fiddlerâ€™s Elbow (London, UK), Knitting Factory (NYC), Place-des-Arts (MontrÃ©al), Bitter End (NYC), New Jersey State Theater, Tonic (NYC), HotHouse (Chicago), Brooklyn Academy of Music, Liberty State Park and the Statute of Liberty, Tennessee Performing Arts Center (Nashville), Living Arts Centre (Mississauga), Town Hall (NYC), Heinz & Benedum Halls (Pittsburgh), the World Trade Center (NYC), and with the Christmas Revels on Broadway (at Symphony Space). The many other cities he has played in include Sao Paolo (Brazil), New Orleans, Las Vegas, Toronto, Miami, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Miami, Boston, Austin, San Diego, Detroit and Cleveland.
Kalman has been a featured performer at several music festivals, including the St. Ceciliatide International Music Festival (London, UK), DjangoFest Chicago, Clearwater Revival Festival (New York), South American Hungarian Folkdance Festival in Caracas (Venezuela), Classical Mandolin Society of America Convention (Toronto), Salon De Virtuosi (New York), Millrace Festival (Cambridge, Ontario), International Flower Festival (Hungary), Budapest Spring and August 20th Festivals (Hungary), Eisteddfod Traditional Music Festival (Brooklyn), and scores of Hungarian Music and Dance Festivals (Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Louisiana, New York).
Kalman has arranged music for the Tamburitzans and several other Hungarian and Balkan performing dance groups. His own music has been featured on soundtracks of films such as â€œMix,â€ a Lovy Brothers film, and â€œHaunted,â€ a short film produced by Different Studios. He also composed music for and performed on CBSâ€™s nationally televised â€œSunday Morningâ€ show. He has appeared live on WQXR and WFMU radio stations and WNBC television in New York City, and his recordings can regularly be heard on various radio stations around the world.
Kalman has taught violin and ensemble classes at the Balkan Folk Music & Dance Workshops in New York and California (Mendocino) organized by the East European Folklife Center, and at the American Hungarian Folklore Centerâ€™s Folkdance and Music Symposia in Pennsylvania. He also plays the organ, piano and violin at various Roman Catholic parishes.
Kalman is the owner of Hungaria Records, a U.S.-based production company which offers music from Hungary and beyond. He has personally appeared on several recordings with a wide array of artists. He also produced Visszhang (Echo) for Hungaria Records, a compilation of Hungarian folk bands from North America, the first of its kind outside of Hungary.
Kalman lives in Morristown, New Jersey with his wife, Beatrix, and their daughter, Csenge. He works as a lawyer in Florham Park, New Jersey.
The music on this disc was arranged and performed solely by KÃ¡lmÃ¡n. It was recorded and mixed in his basement studio using a Shure KSM32 microphone onto a Yamaha MD8 machine, supplemented during mixing by an Alesis reverb unit. The keyboard used for some bass parts and piano sounds was a Yamaha P-150. No sampling, editing or other computer devices have been used.
Recorded & Mixed: KÃ¡lmÃ¡n Magyar, Hungaria Records Recording Studio, Rockaway, New Jersey
Mastered: LÃ¡szlÃ³ Hajdu-NÃ©meth, Jr.
Graphics: Beatrix Magyar-Nagy
Produced: Hungaria Records, Inc., 51 Addison Avenue, Rockaway, NJ 07866
Instruments: Violin (1-5, 7-18); Viola (1, 4, 7, 11); Kontra (1, 3, 4, 10, 13, 16-18); 4-string guitar (2, 4-8, 14, 15, 17); accordion (1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 15, 17); 3-string double bass (10, 13, 16, 18); 4-string double bass (1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 14, 17); Bass Guitar (8); Keyboard (2, 5, 9, 11, 12, 15); Trumpet-Violin (17); Tapan (7, 15); Darabuka/Dumbek (2, 5, 6, 8); Percussion [cymbal/bass drum] (17); Jew's Harp (7); ÃœtÃµ-Gardon [percussive cello] (3).
Check out the artist's website:
1. Exposed (Romania)
2. Pajdusko (Bulgaria)
3. Hit It (Transylvania)
4. Naked Romanian (Romania)
5. Trite Pati (Bulgaria)
6. Sorrow (Hungary)
7. Quick Step (Moldavia)
8. Turkish Delight (Balkans)
9. Lullaby for Trixie (Ireland)
10. Invirtita (Transylvania)
11. The Lark (Romania-Hungary)
12. F Sharp Fantasy (Serbia-Romania)
13. Legenyes (Transylvania)
14. Kolo (Croatia)
15. Recenica (Bulgaria)
16. The Rising (Transylvania)
17. Sound the Trumpet (Romania)
18. Lament (Transylvania)