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Életfa Hungarian Folk Ensemble
Életfa Hungarian folk band plays authentic folk music of the Hungarians living in Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and New Jersey. The group gets its power and drive from being true to the village traditions and respecting the stylistic differences between the different villages.
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The group is intimately tied to dance, and most of the musicians are outstanding dancers, and Hungarian dancers have often been known to travel many hundreds of miles just to get their dancing fix of Életfa. The group regularly travels around North America, and has loyal followings in Louisiana, Ontario, New York, Ohio, California and of course New Jersey.
In 2009 they performed at venues such as Lincoln Center (with the NY Philharmonic and Alec Baldwin in the program "Inside the Music: Brahms's Serenade No. 1") and the Music Center of Los Angeles. Founded in 1987, the group has studied, performed and toured with almost all the internationally known Hungarian folk bands from Hungary and Transylvania.
The basic setup of the group is violins, kontras (a Hungarian 3-string viola that functions like a rhythmic guitar) and bass. The group also performs with cimbalom (the elaborate Hungarian hammered dulcimer), the utogardon (a percussive cello from eastern Transylvania), the trumpet-violin and the hurdy-gurdy. Their tradition rarely includes drums (except when performing the dances from Moldavia).
Életfa will enthusiastically share its music and culture with all audiences.