Jazz talent exchange

Though the 14th Jazz Showcase talent exchange is seeking to break out from the shadow of the pandemic, it will also adapt to the situation. Instead of the usual live concerts, you can enjoy a broadcast of the show – featuring performances from six youthful groups at the Festival Theatre on 24 January – on the Müpa Budapest website and YouTube channel. The Showcase host will once again be Péter Novák, who will help us get to know the character of the performers. The international jury of illustrious personalities will once again select what they consider to be the most exciting and extraordinary group, but the young talents will also be counting on the vote of online viewers.

The Sámuel Baló Trio, the Bettika Quintet, the Tamás Bolyki Quartet, the Fábió Fehér Trio, the Albert Horváth Quartet and the Dávid Varga Quintet will compete for further opportunities to perform concerts both at home and abroad. All of these groups are well worth a listen, as they will show us what kind of diverse musical and performance styles interest the new generation of jazz musicians, as well as how they have sought to find their own personal sound. From free improvisation to funk, neo-soul, modern swing, hardbop, poetry music and folk music, you will encounter a wide array of trends in terms of both instrumental and vocal formations. And it's all jazz! If you are interested in exploring the latest influences in Hungarian jazz, you can enjoy the 45-minute concerts online, while you can also vote for your favourite show during the broadcast. The results will be announced at 8 pm on the same day before a live broadcast of the Fresh Jazz-Funk concert from the Subtones group.

This event is presented in association with the Budapest Music Center, the Hungarian Jazz Federation and the Zemplén Festival.


The first online Jazz Showcase has taken place – here are the favourites of the jury and the audience

On Sunday, for the 14th time the spaces of Müpa Budapest reverberated with the sounds of jazz, this time both in real life and virtually, too. The production of this year's Jazz Showcase took place in special circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic. There was a recording of performances from the talent show's youthful bands, before the day ended with a live broadcast of an evening concert by the Subtones, the band of Gábor Subicz, one of the discoveries of the 2008 Jazz Showcase.

The Bettika Quintet received the Professional Prize, based on the votes of the jury, while in an extremely close call the Dávid Varga Quintet won the Audience Prize. Both groups can look forward to the chance to perform during Müpa Budapest's 2021/22 season – hopefully in front of a live audience. You can also encounter the latter band at the 30th Zemplén Festival, as Dávid Varga and his group also received the festival's special award. Thanks to the Hungarian Jazz Association, you will have the chance to hear the Fábió Fehér Trio at the Hungarian Jazz Festival on 14 April, while the Baló Sámuel Trio earned the opportunity to perform at the Budapest Music Center and will also play in Veronika Harcsa's Courtyard at the 30th Valley of the Arts Festival. The Tamás Bolyki Quartet won the Samaria Jazz Special Prize, while the Albert Horváth Quartet have been invited to play at the 606 Club in London.

Thank you for your participation and a warm congratulations to the winners!


Mihály Borbély

Clarinettist and saxophonist, associate professor in the Jazz Department at the Liszt Academy 

The Kossuth, Liszt and eMeRTon prize-winning clarinettist and saxophonist is one of Hungary's most versatile woodwind multi-instrumentalist musicians. He has performed on countless different records, taken to the stage alongside prominent domestic and foreign representatives of a range of musical genres ,and played concerts not only in Hungary but all over Europe, in the US, Mexico and Australia. In addition to his work at the Liszt Academy Jazz Department, Mihály has also held courses at numerous high-ranking universities and conservatories.

Balázs Bágyi

Jazz drummer, composer, music educator and producer, president of the Hungarian Jazz Federation

The jazz drummer is a much sought-after performer on both the Hungarian and international jazz scene. The Balázs Bágyi New Quartet, which bears his name and performs Balázs's own music, has grown into one of Hungarian jazz's most successful groups, and regularly plays concerts both at home and abroad. In addition to his professional performance career, Balázs is also a mentor for the Hungarian National Cultural Fund's Conquest of Sound Program, a member of the board of trustees of the Dezső Lakatos Ablakos Performing Arts Jazz Scholarship, and the president of the Hungarian Jazz Federation since 2013.

Károly Binder 

Jazz pianist, composer, professor and director of the Jazz Department at the Liszt Academy  

The Ferenc Erkel Award-winning pianist has written more than 300 musical words for the prepared piano, the piano, the orchestra and for percussion and orchestra. He has also written music for numerous films, plays and radio dramas. He has released 67 records to date. Since the year 2000, he has been a professor and director of the Jazz Department at the Liszt Academy, and in 2018 he was awarded an Artisjus Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his work.

Nadin Deventer (D)

Artistic director of Jazzfest Berlin  

With more than 15 years of experience as a curator, playwright and artistic director, Nadin Deventer is one of the driving forces behind the jazz scene in the CEE region, particularly in the Ruhr valley. Her name is associated with countless successful jazz programmes and workshops. As artistic director, since 2018 she has guided Jazzfest Berlin, one of Europe's oldest and most prestigious jazz festivals.

Veronika Harcsa


Veronika, who was one of the stars of the first ever Jazz Showcase in 2008, is now an international perfomer. She has performed in 35 different countries around the world, and has ten albums and a wealth of musical collaborations behind her. She applies her versatile creativity in many genres, and regularly works with classical musicians. She has sung Dadaist opera directed by Jiří Menzel, and also participates in experimental electronic projects and theatrical productions. Since 2014, she has run her own courtyard at the Valley of the Arts festival.

Attila László 

Guitar player, composer, associate professor in the Jazz Department at the Liszt Academy  

The Franz Liszt Prize-winning jazz guitarist and composer is a pre-eminent representative of modern Hungarian jazz and a highly accomplished musician. After graduating from the Jazz Department of the Béla Bartók Conservatory, he began playing in several leading Hungarian jazz ensembles, and has performed alongside some of the greatest legends of American jazz over the course of his career. He has been teaching at the Jazz Department of the Liszt Academy since 1987, and is currently an associate professor, as well as the leader of the university's big band. 

Martyna Markowska (PL)

Head of programming of the City of Gardens Institution of Culture in Katowice, the Katowice JazzArt Festival and the Gardens of Sounds  

As Artistic Director of the Katowice City of Gardens Cultural Institute, Martyna has been responsible for the Katowice JazzArt Festival and the World of Gardens of Sounds Festival since 2013. She also took part in the 2017 WOMEX, and is currently a leading member of the European Jazz Network, a non-profit network of more than 100 organisations. 

Steve Rubie (UK)

Musician, proprietor and managing director of 606 Club in London  

Steve Rubie has managed the legendary 606 Club, located in the Chelsea district of London, since 1976. The UK’s leading jazz club, the 606 Club provides the most talented musicians – including many Hungarian artists – with the opportunity to perform every day of the week, In 2006, it was chosen as Jazz Venue of the Year. Rubie has already judged the competitors of the Jazz Showcase on several occasions, most recently in 2019.

Igor Vida (SK)

Chairman of Jazz Club DS  

Igor Vida, who works full-time as an IT specialist, has been trying to enliven the cultural life of the CEE region through non-profit organizations since 2000. Since 2006, as President of Jazz Club DS, he has regularly organised jazz concerts in the region. Since 2008, he has been the artistic director for the Are You FREE? international musical festival, which focuses on improvisational music, and the Samaria Jazz Festival since 2018, while he is also a member of the board of trustees for the Harmony – Slovak Hungarian Music Prize and the MEDIAWAVE International Visual Arts Foundation.