IMPROVOKATION is the culmination of four years of development by British bassist and band leader Arnie Somogyi . It has a specific aim – to combine the musical heritage and creative talents of some of the world’s leading improvising musicians from both Hungarian & UK jazz and folk backgrounds. IMPROVOKATION blends the beauty of unfamiliar, but distinctive ethnic instruments, in combination with a jazz ensemble to produce a highly inventive and accessible sound. It combines western and central European improvising traditions, with traditional East European gypsy exerting a powerful influence. The special 10-piece band features musicians noted for their work in jazz and world music. IMPROVOKATION features – Montreux prize-winning pianist – Bela Szakcsi Lakatos; Hungarian multi-reedist and world/folk composer – Mihaly Borbely; British trumpeter and Celtic bodhran and whistle player – Neil Yates; two of Hungary’s foremost Gypsy cimbalom players – Kalman Balogh on Tour and Miklos Lukacs on CD; world-renowned Hungarian saxophonist – Tony Lakatos; Hungarian folk violinist and featured vocalist – Beata Salamon; British drummer and percussionist – Winston Clifford; UK trombonist – Jeremy Price; Transylvanian guitarist – Zsolt Bende; …and band leader, British bassist Arnie Somogyi. IMPROVOKATION’s debut CD – Star Mountain Sessions – was recorded at the renowned Tom Tom Studios on Star Mountain (Csillaghegy) outside Budapest during a week in February 2004. Star Mountain Sessions is released on May 1 on the Forged Records label (FRGCD 102). All the tunes are original compositions by members of the band, and were written and performed specifically for the 10-piece IMPROVOKATION line-up. After a warm up gig in Bedford, the UK Tour will have its official debut at Cheltenham International Jazz Festival 2004, at The Everyman Theatre on May 2 and follow with a headline week at Ronnie Scott’s Club plus selected venues including Sheffield Jazz, Manchester Royal Northern College of Music, Poole Lighthouse Theatre, and later in July at Lincoln Jazz, and the Appleby Jazz Festival. Originally sparked by music heard across Eastern Europe during his first BBC Radio 4 documentary ‘Cool Roots’ in 2000, Arnie Somogyi has already produced an acclaimed album, Cold Cherry Soup (FRGD 101), and the 3-day Hungary Jazz Festival to packed houses at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho in May 2002. “A fascinating contrast with the European cross-genre events at the Bath Festival, the Hungary Jazz Festival is more rootsy, songlike and direct” John Fordham, The Guardian. Major Sponsors: The IMPROVOKATION UK Tour and CD are in association with the Arts Council, Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Birmingham Conservatiore, UCE, Hungarian Cultural Centre in London, Jazz Services, Riverview Hungarian Wine, Cheltenham International Music Festivals and Ronnie Scott’s. from

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