'Those who don't adhere to traditions are just floating around. Nations who lose their identity are more prone to mental illness' - argues Ági Szalóki in her angelic voice. Szalóki is one of the most important singers on the Hungarian folk music scene. Over the last 15 years, she has played approximately 600 concerts with her children's band, performing not only in Hungary but for Hungarian audiences in neighbouring countries and other child audiences across Europe.
When she was five years old, Ági was drawn to Transylvanian Hungarian folk music after seeing the singer Márta Sebestyén in the rock opera István a király (István the King). She later followed the advice of Ferenc Sebő and began studying folk singing under Klára Bozda. She first appeared on stage at the Katona József Theatre aged 16 during the band Ando Drom's anniversary concert, performing alongside such legendary Hungarian musicians as Béla Szakcsi Lakatos and László Dés. She sang for years i...n the band Ökrös and the Hungarian world music band, Besh o droM, travelling across the world, from the Montreali Jazz Festival to Glastonbury Festival and from the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris to New York and Beijing. As a jazz singer, she has worked in partnership with Béla Szakcsi Lakatos and other some incredible musicians, including Kálmán Oláh, Elemér Balázs and Gábor Presser. In 2004, she founded her first group and recorded her first solo album for children, Téli-nyári laboda (Summer-Winter Saltbushes). Szalóki was brought up surrounded by a wide range of classical music, and still today remains a huge fan of the works of Bach, Debussy and Bartók, as well as various contemporary classical music movements.
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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