Saturday, December 27, 2008

Budapest -- Hanukkah Hungarian Klezmer Rap Party

More from Hanukkah party central....The Hungarian folk-rap band Zuboly added klezmer to the mix at a seventh-night Hanukkah gig in the basement of the Siraly cafe. The concert was part of Marom, the Jewish youth group's, Hanukkah festival. Zuboly has been described as "doing something like taking a folk song, or something similar and a pop song known by everyone and knead[ing] the two together in such a way, complete with rap insert of MC Busa that you can easily miss the transition between the Billy Jean and a Hungarian ancient shamanic song." OK...

With the addition of klezmer, it is described as "transforming into Zugoj."
Zsigmond Lázár and Béla Ágoston are founding members of the Odessa Klezmer Band. Their revolutionary idea was to examine how klezmer mixes with beatbox and all other creativity of Zuboly. Special guest of the band is Flóra Polnauer, who has already proved to be a true ZU-GIRL with outstanding talent in rap and improvisation, which will all be part of the festive concert...

(The klezmer comes in about halfway through this clip)

My friend Rudi Klein (the expert on synagogue architecture and author of the recently published book on Budapest's Dohany St. Synagogue) and I dropped by to listen after going to dinner nearby -- and Rudi noted that the basement, with its pillars and vaulting, is a fine example of original neo-classical architecture from the 1840s. At that time, the street Siraly is located on, Kiraly utca, was expanding outward becoming the main commercial thoroughfare of Budapest' s Jewish section.


  1. also interesting to note maybe: Zuboly is a Hungarian male first name (quite rare I guess), it was establlished by János Arany, the great national poet and author of Hungary and sounds very traditional, almost ancient.
    Zugoj is the klezmer version - that is indeed Zu-goy, where goy is a word for not-Jewish. It is a perfect pun! Zugoj is Zuboly playing klezmer described in Jewish context. (the name was first used on the Purim festival this year at the Corvin tető - where among other we could see the famous kiddush of Judah (an Israeli MC) on the stage...