Les Czimber

Les Czimber is an excellent pianist who can bring his own ideas to jazz. He considers it a miracle that Les Czimber ever made it to America. As a teenager, he was a leader of a Budapest band and discovered jazz in communist Hungary through the Voice of America broadcasts. His patrol was captured by Russians while he was serving in the Hungarian Army during the 1956 revolution. A Russian officer found out that Czimber was a musician and they had a long conversation about music. The lives of soldiers were not spared unlike many others. Czimber fled Hungary after the revolution was over. He walked all night through snowy terrain to Yugoslavia, and escaped the country. He moved to Milwaukee a few months later. Czimber was recognized when he set the world record for playing music in a department store window for 78 hours. He only took a ten minute break every 60 minutes. This record was later broken by 79. Czimber met Al Jarreau in Milwaukee. They worked together for many years, including five months at San Francisco. Czimber was a leader of a show band for the second half of 1960s, before moving to Southern California in 1971. He has been playing with a trio, including John Patitucci as a bass player, in Orange County since then. His style is influenced by Bill Evans, but not a copy. Allmusic

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