Fri, May 23rd

The Glass House Project

World Beat TICKETS

Doors 6:30PM
Show 7:15PM
Advance Price $15
Door Price $20
Table Reservation (212) 777-1157

Advanced online ticket sales stop at 5pm on day of show
If available, more tickets are available at door

HUNGARIAN CULTURAL CENTER NEW YORK
presents

“The Glass House Project”
 


 
A concert to recreate the musical culture of Hungarian Jewish communities
destroyed by the Holocaust
 
Grammy Award-winning trumpeter FRANK LONDON (of The Klezmatics)
brings together a supergroup of jazz/world/folk virtuosi from Hungary & NYC

Working from meticulously reconstructed scores
& archival records of long forgotten folk songs,
performances range from the reverential to the decidedly experimental



THE GLASS HOUSE ENSEMBLE:
from Hungary
MIKLÓS LUKÁCS, cimbalom
BÉLA ÁGOSTON, winds
SZIRTES EDINA MÓKUS, singer
ARON SZEKELY, bracs
KATA HARSACZKI, singer

from NYC
FRANK LONDON, trumpet
PABLO ASLAN, bass
RICHIE BARSHAY, drums
ARAM BAJAKIAN, guitar
JAKE SHULMEN-MENT, violin



“The mass deportations of 1944, carried out by the then Hungarian state allied with Nazi Germany, led to the death of almost half a million of the country’s abandoned and persecuted citizens, Jews and people of Jewish origins. This tragedy—without parallel in Hungarian history—bequeaths on us a responsibility to remember martyrs, cherish the heroes who resisted, and most of all to face the past.”
“I hope the Glass House concert series will give audiences a sense of the richness of the rural Jewish culture of pre-war Hungary, but also serve as a reminder of the crimes committed against Hungarian Jews by their government and scores of their fellow citizens so that we may find the strength to continue to fight intolerance and anti-Semitism everywhere.”
— Gergely Romsics, Director
Balassi Institute – Hungarian Cultural Center New York
 
““When I first heard the story of the legendary Glass House (Üvegház), I was profoundly moved. The image of a glass house evokes not just beauty and mystery in a frame of post-modern architecture, but also fairy tales, legends, dreams. And there are the metaphors of a glass house: fragility, secrets, and revelations. The Glass House in Budapest represents protection, innovation, courage, creativity — ideals and values that are reflected in our work together as musicians on the Glass House Project. ”
— Frank London 
 
In the history of the Holocaust, the fate of Hungarian Jews stands out due to the exceptional speed with which their deportation was carried out by the Hungarian authorities cooperating with the Eichmann bureau very late in the war, in summer 1944. Almost half a million people were deported in less than three months, and over half a million were murdered in the course of World War II in forced labour units, in labor and death camps and in various pogroms conducted by Arrowcross men.
 
Hungarian Cultural Center will present THE GLASS HOUSE PROJECT, a commemorative concert as part of its Memorial Year paying tribute to the victims of the Holocaust in Hungary. 
The Glass House Project is named for the legendary Glass House (Üvegház), the most famous among 76 safe houses established around Budapest by the Swiss diplomat Carl Lutz, where thousands of Jews took refuge and found protection from their persecutors during the Holocaust.
The concert series opens with an informal preview performance on Friday, May 23 at DROM in New York City.
The line-up features a veritable supergroup curated by Grammy Award winning trumpeter, bandleader and composer Frank London of The Klezmatics, bringing together musicians from both sides of the Atlantic. 
Joining the group from New York City are four well-known contemporaries of Frank London: guitarist Aram Bajakian (Diana Krall, John Zorn, the late Lou Reed), Grammy nominated bassist Pablo Aslan (Paquito D’Rivera, Yo-Yo Ma, Shakira), drummer Richie Barshay (Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Esperanza Spalding), and violinist Jake Shulman-Ment.
Coming over from Hungary to join the group will be rising star singer/violinist/composer Szirtes Edina "Mókus", cimbalom virtuoso Miklós Lukács, avant-garde composer and winds player Béla Ágoston, plus two Hungarians based in New York: kontra and viola player Áron Székely and traditional vocalist Kata Harsáczki.
Each musician chosen to be a part of The Glass House Project is a master of both traditional and contemporary music. Each is on the cutting edge of new and old, blurring distinctions between folk, traditional, jazz, pop, and contemporary classical. 
"Whether in the worlds of jazz, klezmer, classical, Hungarian or American pop music, all the musicians in the Glass House Project revel in the act of learning traditional musics and transforming them, making them our own,” says London. 

THE MUSIC
“To create The Glass House Project, we will be working from many sources, researching archives in Budapest and internationally. We are listening to songs collected both before the war by ethnomusicologists like Bartók and beyond, to many recordings of Hungarian Holocaust survivors, and even living practitioners of Hungarian Jewish and non-Jewish musical traditions.” — Frank London
 
While much of this music was thought to be lost after the Holocaust, the concerts will feature reinterpreted and reimagined rarities, new music based on old material (mostly East Central European Jewish folk traditions), and songs that have been preserved by Roma musicians who held on to a tradition of playing Jewish music in intercultural regions. It was this tradition that could be recovered and reconstructed by ethnomusicologists in the ensuing decades. The Glass House Project will draw on treasures that include music from the great Hungarian Hasidic dynasties (Kaliver, Satmar, and Vizhnitz); music from the late, great János Zerkula; and some better known folk material such as Sír a kis galambom (When my little dove weeps). The lesser known and even forgotten songs have been selected with curatorial assistance by the esteemed musician and song collector, Bob Cohen of Di Naye Kapelye, and Mátyás Bolya of the Institute of Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.