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Elsa Valle (singer), Tamás Zsári (saxophone), Bart De Nolf (double bass), Bruno Castellucci (drums), Gábor Ladányi (guitar)
Tamás Zsári Hungarian saxophonist, the host of the Balassi Jazz Club invites prominent Belgian and Hungarian musicians to his ensemble from time to time. The special guest of this evening is the Cuban singer and composer, Elsa Valle.
Elsa Valle (singer and composer) born in Cuba -descendant of a prestigous musician family- is living now in Europe. She studied in the best music academy in Havanna Escuela Nacional De Artes. Shortly after graduating she received her first appreciation at the famous Tropicana in Havana. She appeared at the most well-known Cuban and South-American festivals, earning worthily the praise of the audience and critics at the famous Cuban festival ”Boleros De Oro”. Her style can be defined as an interesting and fantastic blend of traditional and contemporary Cuban singing. Her voice and singing is melancholic, luscious and explosively improvisational at the same time. She brought her music and wonderful voice to a worldwide public by appearing at jazz, latin and pop festivals as San Remo Festival or La Bienal Flamenco Festival. She performed on stages captivated by Estremeno, Santana, Al di Meola or the legendary Cuban musicians from Buena Vista Social Club. Besides international appearances she captured the audience with her wonderful voice and talent also on the biggest Hungarian stages like Pepsi Sziget, opening for Omara Portuondo, Cachao Lopez, or Ibrahim Ferrer. Recently she has been working with her own group keeping the Cuban tradition alive by singing the jazz in her unique style mixing it with rhythm and melodies of Cuban music.
Tamás Zsári (saxophone) was born in Budapest and graduated at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music. After graduation he moved to the USA and lived there for 3 years. In 2001, he accepted the invitation of Budapest Jazz Orchestra and joined the ensemble. He is one of the founding members of Modern Art Orchestra. He played together with many well-known musicians, such as Bob Mintzer, Peter Erskine, Dave Liebman. With his band he also plays his own compositions. He performed at several festivals in Hungary and in Europe. He currently lives in Brussels.
Bart De Nolf (double bass) was born in 1965 in Brugge, Belgium and graduated at the Royal Conservatory of Ghent in 1987 for classical double bass. Since 1988, he has been a professor at the Royal Conservatory of Ghent and Brussels. As of 1986, he is a member of “BRT Jazz Orchestra”. He also played with pop bands, and performed with several freelance musicians. He was a member of the Toots Thielemans Quartet, with which he played together in Europe and around the world.
Bruno Castellucci (drums) was born in Chatelet, Belgium. At the age of 14, he started to play the drums in an autodidactic way. In 1962, he won the 1st prize at the Adolph Sax Dinant Jazz Festival. From 1963 he has been a member of the Jazz quintet of Alex Scorier. Since 1970, he has taken part in recording sessions in several countries. Between 1974 and 1981, he was a member of the BRT Jazz Orchestra, and he was a steady member of Toots Thielemans Quartet. Since 1978 he has been a member of the Akkerman band and since 1980, that of the Rhythm Combination & Brass band.
Gábor Ladányi (guitar) was born in a musician family in Budapest in 1993. He studied at the Faculty of Jazz-guitar at the Kőbánya Music School, and at the Faculty of Classical Guitar at Kodály Zoltán Music Academy in Hungary. He participated in several festivals in Hungary with the Debrecen Big Band and received a golden award at the Big Band Festival in Budapest. He currently lives in Brussels and studies at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.