Cécile McLorin Salvant & Sullivan Fortner
Four out of four: that's how many of Cécile McLorin Salvant's albums have earned Grammy nominations, winning three awards in the process. It seems that anything this 30-year-old singer touches turns to gold. Her newest double album, The Window, made as part of a duo alongside the New Orleans pianist Sullivan Fortner, has been acclaimed by critics and the general public alike for its incredible harmony, extraordinary authenticity and the uplifting nature of the music. McLorin Salvant, who also stands out because of her distinctive sunglasses, grew up in a bilingual family: her mother is French, while her father comes from Haiti. She consciously focused on both cultures in her studies, delving deep into the depths of jazz as well as the traditions of French troubadour and Baroque music. She won the Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition in 2010, even though she had only been active in the genre for three years. Salvant captivated the judges, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves, Kurt Elling, Patti Austin and Al Jarreau, and has since done the same with the audiences of countless countries, including a performance with her quartet at the Müpa Budapest Festival Theatre in March 2016. On this occasion she will greet both her old and new fans in the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall in a twosome to show the audience how perfectly she resonates with Sullivan Fortner. The 32-year-old pianist begin playing music at the age of four and won several music scholarships during his teenage years. He crowned his studies with a Masters at the Manhattan School of Music, and soon found himself surrounded by musicians of the calibre of Stefon Harris, Roy Hargrove, Wynton Marsalis and Paul Simon.
Danyèl Waro / Ann O'aro
The island of Réunion is an overseas French department situated 800 kilometres east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. We'll see and hear two illustrious performers of maloya, the island's special musical and singing style, in one fantastic night at Müpa Budapest: the legendary poet and singer Danyèl Waro will give his second ever concert in Hungary, and his young protégé, singer, dancer and poet Ann O'aro, will give her first Hungarian performance. With origins in the music of local slaves, maloya features percussion instruments and call-response singing, and its performance was banned for many years. However, over the past half century it has become an integral part of Réunion's consciousness, and was placed on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2009. Danyèl Waro was born in 1955 from black, white and Indian ancestors, and has played a key role in reviving the maloya tradition since the 1970s. In his songs that decry social injustices, the WOMEX award-winning artist accompanies his Creole-language lyrics with instruments of his own making, including the stringed bobre, made from a calabash, as well as percussion instruments like the kayamb, roulèr and pikèr.A selection of his song Mandela can be heard in a Kanye West remix of Beyoncé and Jaz-Z's 2013 hit, Drunk in Love. Ann O'aro, now in her late 20s, uses maloya as a means of processing the trauma caused by her father who raped her and later committed suicide. Her untitled 2018 début album features Creole and French language songs accompanied by wind and percussion instruments. Before the concert, Waro will be holding an hour-and-a-half-long workshop starting at 5 pm in the Bohemian Event Venue, with admission subject to advance registration.
Triumph in Defeat - A tribute to Dezső Tandori
In February of this year, an immeasureably rich body of work was left to us by a poet who departed for the Elysian Fields. From our narrow perspective, there can be no doubt that Dezső Tandori was the defining figure of his era in terms of contemporary Hungarian poetry, a man who created a new direction for poetry writing, causing the poetic voice to journey across numerous territories which had never been covered before. Previously untouched sounds, topics, objects and forms were already visible in his very first volume of poetry, Töredék Hamletnek, while his accomplished style has had an inexorable impact on Hungarian poetry in recent decades. Though his prose writings, translating work and essays also place him among the greats, the content of this Müpa Budapest memorial evening will largely focus on Tandori's poetry. The compilers of the programme have strived to include his most important poems from every period, though in addition to his main works they will also cover several excerpts, bravura improvisations and playful pieces - proof of Tandori's multi-faceted genius. There will also be a chance for contemporary poets and writers, close and distant friends and contemporaries to remember the writer during a roundtable discussion, as well as readings of works inspired by him and that recall his angel-like disposition, fragile character and captivating artistic work.