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Interview with Ramona Horvath

Monday, 15 May 2023 , ora 10.25

Pianist Ramona Horvath performs on Thursday at the Sala Radio from 19:00 with the group European Jazz Society. Ramona Horvath was a disciple of the famous jazzman Iancsy Körössy. She has been based in Paris since 2009, where she has released several albums for the Black and Blue label. More details about the concert in Bucharest and about Ramona Horvath's work in the interview with the artist by Viorel Grecu.

Let's start with a few words about the multinational quartet you will be playing with at Sala Radio and the programme you have prepared.

It is an international quartet. I gave it the name this time, European Jazz Society. I say this time because it's the first time we've used that name, although the concept has been working for a while. Living in Paris, I have the opportunity to play with various musicians from different European countries. As a concept, let's say, we are inaugurating it here in Romania with this beautiful tour.

What will you play? Will there be original compositions, standard themes? Can you give us details about the repertoire, apart from surprises?

You know well that in jazz music, most of the time we set the repertoire that evening, often we make changes even during the concert. We have a few ideas planned. Of course there will be some jazz themes, some standard themes, we will also have compositions, both our own, some memories of Iancsy Körössy, who was my mentor and of course, especially in this context, having Tony Lakatos as a soloist, we can't not play Iancsy Körössy's pieces.

Tony Lakatos is a Hungarian-born saxophonist, one of the four members of the band. Who are the other two, also renowned instrumentalists in Europe?

It's French double bassist Nicolas Rageau, who has been a regular stage partner for several years now. We have already recorded a couple of albums with him in France. I've also met Nicolas in Romania with other groups. The drummer is a fantastic young man, Minchan Kim, who lives in Germany.

You've been based in Paris for a few years now. How have you adapted to the scene there and what are you most proud of from this Parisian period of yours?

It's been years since I've been in France. It's a very rich scene. The French scene is, in my opinion, the densest in terms of jazz musicians. You can meet and get to know jazz musicians from all over the world. It's not easy at all to make your way and establish a name for yourself.

And you've done it. You also have albums on a major label Black and Blue. Can you say you've established yourself there, on the Parisian scene?

I'm trying my best. As far as I'm concerned, the battle is never fully won. Now I've recorded a new album, it's not out yet. I'll be releasing it this autumn.

The concert at the Sala Radio practically ends a tour in Romania. You've played on many stages around the world. How are these comebacks at home?

Always exciting and always a bit challenging, because I like to meet the Romanian audience again, which I always find a bit different, in a good way. It's a very warm audience that loves music, loves musicians, knows music. I can't wait to come to Bucharest, also because it's my mother. I expect you all to come in large numbers, there should be a lot of people. That's what we really want, to see as big an audience as possible.

Interview by Viorel Grecu
Translated by Andreea Petrescu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu