Voted the 2nd best jazz band in the Alibi's 2009 Best of Burque, the Zoltan Orkestar performs quirky original songs in addition to Zoltanized standards and Hungarian folk songs.
Classical guitarist Zoltan Szekely, who was born in Romania and raised in Hungary, founded the Zoltan Orkestar in 2006. Zoltan’s style is heavily influenced by both traditional Hungarian folk music and American classical jazz. He plays an instrument of his own devise, combining a guitar and a ukulele, with a bicycle horn, cymbal and xylophone thrown in for good measure, affectionately known as the "guikemaphone" (geek-a-ma-phone) or "Zoltanator."
Joining Zoltan is his wife and vocalist, Glynda Szekely. In addition to lending her "voice of the hummingbird of the gods" to the band, Glynda also makes sure there is enough beer and estrogen at practice.
There's never a dull moment around John Keith, accordionist and innuendoist extraordinaire. John has shared the stage with the likes of Buckwheat Zydeco, Bela Fleck, Los Lobos and Tanya Tucker. The world's tallest midget, John is well-known throughout Florida for his tiki carving skills.
Bass is handled by Chris Tickner of The Big Spank fame. We don't know much about Chris--he is mysterious and elusive, much like the duck-billed platypus. We suspect he likes plaid.
Raised by coyotes in the Albuquerque wilderness, percussionist Jeff Romaniuk rounds out the Orkestar. Having previously performed with many local and national bands, including the Eric McFadden Trio and Chris Dracup, Jeff is also an avid stamp collector and world-class snake milker.
Catch them live at several Albuquerque bars and restaurants, including Monte Vista Fire Station, Nob Hill Bar & Grill, Imbibe Cigar Lounge and Scalo Il Bar and at the Mineshaft Tavern in Madrid.
Zoltan Szekely- Geekelele ( home made instrument)
Jeff Romaniuk- Drums
True Stories About Clowns (2009)
A Road Trip of Sights and Sounds
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With plenty of tips, I bounced around to different bars to sample the live music. The choices, which...With plenty of tips, I bounced around to different bars to sample the live music. The choices, which included heavy metal and stale screamo rock, were less than appealing. Luckily, I stumbled over two talented musicians whose guitar cables were running along the sidewalk.
The two, members of Zoltan Orkestar, played a quirky mix of Hungarian folk and American jazz songs about clowns.
"A lot of circuses came through my town when I was a kid," said frontman Zoltan Szekely, a Romanian-born, Hungarian-raised, Pennsylvania transplant. Szekely played an instrument containing a ukulele taped to an acoustic-turned-electric guitar, topped off with a bicycle horn and a tambourine at his feet. His five-piece band draws a crowd of elderly jazz fans and kids looking for a sideshow.
3rd annual New Mexico Djangofest
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"The next band was Zoltan Orkestar. All I can say is Wow!! They are so different to what I am used t..."The next band was Zoltan Orkestar. All I can say is Wow!! They are so different to what I am used to listening to it was a wonder to hear. At the same time they were also familiar because of the Eastern European influences they incorporate in the music."
A Dr. Seussian Performance
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A Dr. Seussian Performance Romanian-born classical guitarist Zoltan Szekely combines... A Dr.
Romanian-born classical guitarist Zoltan Szekely combines his influences in American jazz and Hungarian folk music in his band Zoltan Orkestar. In addition to performing on an instrument of his own invention—the guikulele, which combines a guitar, ukulele, bike horn and cymbal—his band joins him on keyboards, bass, the accordion and various other items. See the Albuquerque-based band perform original tunes and “Zoltanized” covers at the Monte V, 100 N. San Francisco, at 10 p.m. For more info, call 774-2403 or see www.myspace.com/zoltantrio.
Who is Zoltan Szekely
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Who is Zoltán Székely? The self-proclaimed mad Hungarian opens up ... a little By Marisa Demarco...Who is Zoltán Székely?
The self-proclaimed mad Hungarian opens up ... a little
By Marisa Demarco
Zoltán Székely You may have seen him walking down Central, head down, guitar on his back, handlebar mustache and long, blackened fingernails. He's not much of a talker, though he's liable to take off his shirt on stage, revealing a thick mat of curly black chest hair. Swirling around in the local Mythos of Zoltán is the fact that he was banned from the Golden West for getting naked. "I've been known to showcase my hairy body parts and such at other shows," he says.
Born in the westernmost part of Romania, known as Transylvania, Székely is a citizen of four countries. He lived in Canada and Hungary before coming to the states 10 years ago. "I moved here at 16 with my mom and my sister," he says. "My mom was a nurse, and this was one of the few states where she didn't need an American nursing license."
Thus began Székely's life in New Mexico, a strange place for someone with ambitions to work full-time as a musician. "I am making a living, not just trying," Székely says. "I don't have a car, and I live in very cheap places. I've donated plasma for money. I've had my brain scanned for me at the Mind Institute."
The idea that he could make music to make money was planted in his head by a man Székely calls Reggie, the Texan. "He told me about all these shows he did for $500 and whatnot. So I said, Well I think I'd rather do that than get a job." Székely taught himself a four-hour repertoire of classical music, then showed up at restaurants to find out who would pay him to play. With his band Zoltán Orkestar, Székely performs at weddings, bars and restaurants. The players call it "gypsy-samba," because a previous percussionist added a Brazilian sound that persists.
Though similar genres are popular right now with American bands like A Hawk and A Hacksaw, DeVotchKa and Beirut, Székely's influences are the nomadic Roma bands he watched growing up in Hungary. "Romania and Hungary have the largest gypsy populations in the world." He absorbed the culture, he says. "Living amongst gypsies, you're immersed in that music and the whole Eastern European tradition as well." Romania and Hungary have a large population of excellent musicians, he adds, all of whom are at a level that is rarely seen other places. "But I'm obviously biased," he says.
Zoltán isn't the only Székely in the Orkestar. "We met her three months ago. She was interested in trying out for our band," he says. After further prodding, he mentions that he married the auditioning singer, Glynda, eight weeks ago.
Bandmate John Keith (accordion) fills in the rest, explaining, "He just called me up one morning and said, 'John, we need a witness.’ They were getting married around the block."
Székely interjects. "People were surprised. And that's about it."
Keith, with his light Tennessean accent, laughs. "Zoltán, as you can tell, he's a light-spoken fellow. We were all just astonished that he could be that aggressive." Glynda, they say, is a great vocalist and a lot of fun. Being in a band with his new wife, Székely says, is "the most wonderful thing in the world."
Music news and Gossip
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And it will be a ball, for sure, rolling into the Triple Nickel Tavern this Friday, April 11, when, ...And it will be a ball, for sure, rolling into the Triple Nickel Tavern this Friday, April 11, when, fresh off the zany, madcap streets of Albuquerque, N.M., the Zoltan Orkestar will play songs rooted in South American folk, blended with Eastern European gypsy music, and twisted through the warped lenses of American life.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.
|Feb 3, 2010 Wednesday||6:00 PM||Adobe Bar||Taos, NM, US|
|Oct 27, 2009 Tuesday||9:00 PM||Burt's Tiki Lounge||Albuquerque, NM, US|
|Oct 24, 2009 Saturday||9:00 PM||Wedding||Albuquerque, NM, US|
|Oct 10, 2009 Saturday||8:00 PM||Wedding||Albuquerque, NM, US|
|Sep 30, 2009 Wednesday||8:00 PM||Cowgirl BBQ||Santa Fe, NM, US|
|Sep 26, 2009 Saturday||10:00 PM||El Rey Theater||Albuquerque, NM, US|
|Sep 22, 2009 Tuesday||2:00 PM||NM State Fair||Albuquerque, NM, US|