MÁRKUS TIBOR. Hungarian Jazz Federation President
Autor: Richard Constantinidi
Etichete: Are You Free, Bela Bartok, Eclectic, Equinox, Gonda János, Hungarian Jazz Federation, Kaszakő, Lamantin Jazz Festival, László Attila Band, Márkus Tibor, Oláh Tzumo Árpád, Szombathely, Three Trees
2009. April. Tibor Márkus is a famous and prolific Hungarian Jazz musician.
He is also currently the President of the Hungarian Jazz Federation.
We hooked up with him on tour, when he passed through Transylvania.
CZB: Did you meet your wife at a concert? which concert?
Tibor Markus: My wife is a music teacher and pianist too, but we didn't meet at a concert.
CZB: What was your favorite concert?
Tibor Markus: I have lot of favorite concerts, which I attended: When I was young, I liked Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Deep Purple, then Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, and the classics: Miklós Perényi, András Schiff, and recently a Brad Mehldau concert….
CZB: Do you consider yourself FIRST an artist or a cultural director?
Tibor Markus: First an artist.
CZB: Have you ALWAYS listened to JAZZ music, or is it an acquired taste?
Tibor Markus: I listen to every kind of music
CZB: How do YOU define the word JAZZ?
Tibor Markus: It’s a language of music. If you learn it well, you can say anything you want to with it.
CZB: In JAZZ MELODIES do you prefer the string, wind or percussion instruments?
Tibor Markus: It depens on the melody.
CZB: Do you listen to the music as a whole, or in your mind, do you separate the different sounds and instruments?
Tibor Markus: First I listen as a whole, and than I separate the sounds, instruments, arrangements...
CZB: How do you feel JAZZ music has developed in Hungary during the past 20 years / since the Fall of the Iron Curtain?
Tibor Markus: Through opening more sensibilities to outside influences on the jazz music.
CZB: What were you doing when you found out that Hungary was FREE from
Communism? When did this happen in Hungary?
Tibor Markus: I was extremely happy. It happened in 1989.
CZB: Would you consider your favorite style of Jazz to be happy or sad?
Tibor Markus: Sad. I’m a sentimental person.
CZB: did you grow in a musical family? what did you listen to at home
as a child growing up?
Tibor Markus: No, I didn't. My father was an amateur pianist. I listened to rock music, and early on I liked very much Bela Bartok’s music.
CZB: what was the first record you bought? when?
Tibor Markus: First I made recordings from the radio, because I had a (magnetophone) reel to reel tape recorder. But, when I bought a disc player, first I bought László Attila’s Kaszakő LP.
CZB: Do you have a favorite JAZZ artist?
Tibor Markus: I have lot of favorite jazz artists: Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Brad Mehldau, Wynton Marsalis, Cecil Mc Bride, Avishai Kohen, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Binder Károly, Oláh Kálmán…etc
CZB: Have you visited Chicago or New Orleans for the Jazz scene and historical buildings What was it like for you?
Tibor Markus: I have never been to Chicago or New Orleans, but I’d like to visit someday!
CZB: How did you become President of the Hungarian Jazz Federation? You are young.
Tibor Markus: At the suggestion of professor Gonda János, the membership committee elected me. It was a great honor and privilege for me.
CZB: You have many projects (Equinox, the band you are coming to Cluj with, your solo projects, other collaborations) you are involved in... what are you searching for that
you have not found to keep to one project for yourself?
Tibor Markus: Somebody wrote this:
In compositions, whether for solo works or for orchestras, written by Tibor Márkus, the "unbreakable unison of music" is reflected. The influence of great masters, folk and modern composition elements are also to be discovered in his recordings.
I hope, it’s true, because that is my idea.
CZB: What are some ideas you have for the Hungarian Jazz Federation?
The Hungarian Jazz Federation was founded in 1990. It has always been the only widely
based Hungarian organization which in the interest of all, promotes jazz nationwide. Its
members include not only professional jazz musicians, but also amateurs, experts, writers,
organizers, and lovers of the music. It's dedicated efforts to promote jazz in Hungary has
been very successful. It has important, beneficial connections with those in the Hungarian
Government who are interested in actively supporting jazz, including sponsoring significant
jazz events. It represents Hungarian jazz on the international scene. It is a member of the
important Hungarian Musical Advisory Board. It successfully recommends jazz musicians for
important awards and recognition by the State. It represents the interest of jazz in national and
international platforms and exhibitions.
CZB: What is the JAZZ public like in Hungary? is the public growing / how many jazz festivals are there in Hungary?
Tibor Markus: Is there jazz festivals, and jazz camps (for example Lamantin in Szombathely, Debrecen Jazzfest, Magyar Jazz Ünnepe, that was organized by the Hungarian Jazz Federation in Budapest, in big cities of Hungary and in Romania and Slovakia… but it is not enough.
CZB: is there a new talented Hungarian jazz artist you can tell me about?
Tibor Markus: I think, that young Hungarian artists are very talented. For example Oláh Tzumo Árpád, who was my student. He was young (16 years old), and whatever kind of music he heard one day, the next day he could play in the exact style he heard it in… and he used to ask me: - What happens in this music? What kind of harmonies are there? Why? He was always very curious. Today I am sure he knows all the answers.
CZB: How do you think the crisis Year / period will affect the music scene in Hungary?
Tibor Markus: The jazz music is strong to whatever crises. Already it has endured a much bigger crisis than this (in 1929-32).
Interview conceived by: RiCo for CZB.ro
Fotos: Czika László, 2005
Tibor Markus graduated from Bartók Béla Music School in 1991, and earned a degree in jazz-piano at Liszt Ferenc Music Academy (1995), being Károly Binder's student. His first recording was with saxophonist Claudia Raths (Soul for free / Adyton 003). He founded the Equinox Jazz Quartet in 1993. The band plays tunes composed and arranged by Márkus.
- Equinox (1995)
- Three trees (1999)
- Are you free (2002)
- Eclectic (2005)
- Waves of time (1999)
- My pieces (2005)
- Puppet Theatre (2007)
Tibor Márkus is the author of different choral works, music scores for documentaries and theater plays. He teaches jazz-piano, theory and history of jazz at Erkel Ferenc Music School in Budapest. He's also assistant professor at Liszt Ferenc Music Academy's Jazz Department. Along with taking part actively in the Hungarian version of the MUSE program, promoting alternative ways of teaching art and music education, he is one of the organizers and artistic director for Szombathely's Lamantin Jazz Festival. His courses and workshops on jazz are quite popular at colleges and cultural centers, his musical reviews are being published in several Hungarian magazines. He is president of the Hungarian Jazz Federation since 2005.
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