Budapest Big Band


January, 1986 marked the debut concert of the Budapest Big Band. The new 20-piece band was formed with the help of the Soros Foundation, named after György Soros, a Hungarian expatriate living in the States who sponsors cultural and scientifical programs. The BBB, a democratic association of young musicians, was lucky enough to receive half a million forints to start its career.

The BBB’s spiritual “fathers” are reedman László Dés, trumpeter Endre Sipos, and trombonist Károly Friedrich, who lead their respective sections. The band's premier concert at Budapest Congress Hall was a good first effort. With arrangements of music by Thad Jones, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and other noted Americans, the band displayed its skill in orchestration. The concert proved to be the highlight of an otherwise uneventful local jazz life. It signalled that the BBB is ready to take the next step, i.e. to start working on its own sound and repertoire.

(Jazz Forum, 1986/3)