Jazz Showcase

It's time for the fifteenth edition of Jazz Showcase, the most important talent fair in the Central European region. The review, which was significantly reshaped by the pandemic in 2021, will this time partially return to its original schedule. The talented young jazz bands will each give a live concert in the Atrium on the first weekend of February, and the stakes are again to win more opportunities to perform by earning the votes of the international jury and the audience of jazz fans. The host for the event on this occasion is László Jazzkovács.

The six young ensembles performing this time are once again composed of musicians to watch with productions already ready for the stage. Their members are outstanding masters of their instruments who are still at the beginning of their careers after having already proven themselves in previous club performances and competitions. The variety of styles and instrumental configurations they represent might even inspire jazz fans curious about the latest initiatives to visit Müpa Budapest on all three afternoons. The six groups performing the free 45-minute concerts are the Adrienne Bangó Quartet, the Diána Danyi Quintet, the Rezső Jónás Trio, the Damján Ocsovay Trio, the Lilla Orbay Quintet and the Salamon Tűzkő Quintet. While some will be coming as high-level representatives of an established jazz tradition, more and more bands are trying to create their own musical language. The audience can also help boost their favourite group with votes cast at the venue or online. The chairman of the jury will name the overall winner of the Jazz Showcase, based on professional grounds, and the winners of the special prizes offered by the cooperating partners of the event at the Festival Theatre at 8 pm on Sunday evening.

This year's Jazz Showcase will also include the traditional evening concerts, this time built around the theme of Hungary's presidency of the Visegrád Group (V4). Performing on Friday will be Dan Bárta and the Robert Balzar Trio, one of the most exciting acts on the Czech music scene, followed on Saturday by a genuinely mixed European team, the Cadotsch // Downes // Donkin // Maddren quartet as it sets an example for how to find an individual voice. Sunday will feature the star Polish singer Aga Zaryan delving into lyrical waters. 

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

The concert is organised by Müpa Budapest on the occasion of Hungary's presidency of the V4.


Jazz Showcase 2022 – Here are the favourites of the jury and the audience

The Jazz Showcase held last weekend was a great success. Throughout the three-day festival, six jazz bands were competing for further opportunities to perform both in Hungary and abroad.

The Müpa Budapest Professional Prize, based on votes from an international jury, is awarded to: Reggie Jonas Jr. Trio - the prize-winners receive the chance to perform at Müpa Budapest during the 2022/2023 season. The Audience Prize, based on votes received from the public, is awarded to: Adrienne Bangó Quartet - the prize-winners receive the chance to perform at Müpa Budapest during the 2022/2023 season. The Zempléni Festival Special Prize is awarded to: Salamon Tűzkő Quintet - the prize-winners receive the chance to perform at the Zempléni Festival The Hungarian Jazz Federation Special Prize is awarded to: Adrienne Bangó Quartet - the prize-winners receive the chance to perform in the Budapest Jazz Club, at the Celebration of Hungarian Jazz Festival. The Budapest Music Center Special Prize is awarded to:  Lilla Orbay Quintet - the prize-winners receive the chance to perform at Opus Jazz Club in the 2022/23 season. The Jazz Club DS, Dunaszerdahely Special Prize is awarded to: Lilla Orbay Quintet - the prize-winners receive the chance to perform at the Samaria Jazz Festival. The Valley of Arts Festival, Veronika Harcsa Stage Special Prize is awarded to: Diána Danyi Quintet - the prize-winners receive the chance to perform at the  Valley of Arts Festival. The 606 Club, London Special Prize is awarded to: Reggie Jonas Jr. Trio - the prize-winner receive the chance to perform at the 606 Club Club, London in the 2022/23 season. The Paloznaki Jazzpiknik Special Prize is awarded to: Damján Ocsovay Trio - the prize-winners receive the chance to perform at the 10th Paloznaki Jazzpiknik.

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

Veronika Harcsa - chairperson

singer, songwriter

She graduated from the vocal jazz faculty of the Ferenc Liszt College of Music Budapest and earned her Master’s degree from the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. She has performed in 40 countries around the world, and, besides releasing ten solo albums, has participated in numerous collaborations. Although she writes her songs in English, she has also dedicated two albums to 20th century Hungarian poetry. She puts her versatile creativity to work in many genres, regularly working with classical musicians, as well as participating in experimental projects and theatrical productions. She has run her own programme venue at the Valley of Arts Festival since 2014.

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 scenes. 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 Programme and a member of the board of trustees of the Dezső Lakatos Ablakos Performing Arts Jazz Scholarship. He has also been president of the Hungarian Jazz Federation since 2013.

Károly Binder

jazz pianist, composer, professor of the Jazz Department at the Liszt Academy  

The Ferenc Erkel Award-winning pianist has written more than 398 musical works for the prepared piano, piano, orchestra and for percussion and orchestra. He has also written music for numerous films, plays and radio dramas. He has released 79 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.

Bogdan Benigar (SI)

promoter, director of jazz and world music at Cankarjev dom (Ljubljana), director of Jazz Festival Ljubljana and co-founder and artistic director of Druga Godba Festival (Ljubljana)

Board member of European Forum of Worldwide Music Festivals (1996-1998 and 2004-2008) and board member of the Europe Jazz Network (2012-2018). Leader of the European Jazz Conference in Ljubljana 2017. Received the EJN award for adventurous programming in 2018.  Member of the 2006 WOMEX jury and jazzahead! juries in 2011 and 2015.

Kornél Fekete-Kovács

flugelhorn and trumpet player, composer, the artistic director of Modern Art Orchestra

In great demand as a musician, he has worked on more than a hundred discs as a soloist and session musician. As a composer and arranger, he is very much present in the contemporary classical and jazz music scene not only in Hungary. He is the founder of the Budapest Jazz Orchestra, where he was artistic director and soloist from 1998 to 2005. Since 2005, he has been the leader of the Modern Art Orchestra. In 2006, he formed the Fekete-Kovács Quintet. 

Attila László

guitar player, composer, associate professor of 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. Throughout the 15 years of the Jazz Showcase, the L.F.Z.E. Senior Big Band he leads has given large-scale gala concerts with international guests such as Miroslav Vitous and Patti Austin.

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 organisation of WOMEX 2017, 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. One of the UK’s leading Jazz Clubs, 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 2021.

Ulf Werner (DE)

artistic and orchestra director of Konzerthaus Berlin 

As a violinist, he has been a member of the Philharmonic State Orchestra Bremen, Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie and the Boccherini Trio. He worked as a project manager for the Ensemble Modern, and as managing director of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, the Bochum Symphony Orchestra and the Ensemble Resonanz. He took up the position of orchestra manager of the Konzerthaus Berlin in 2006, before being appointed orchestra- and program director of the venue in 2010.