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FERENC KISS
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Born in Debrecen, Hungary in 1954. He finished secondary school in Budapest in 1972 and then continued his studies at Eötvös Lóránt Tudomány University in Hungarian - ethnology. He has worked as a musician, composer, folk music researcher. He has an extraordinary understanding of musical styles related to authentic folk music and is a master of mixing various styles of music in such a way that the music retains the purity of the melodies.

For twenty years he played with the Vizöntő Ensemble and was a founding member of the legendary Kolinda Ensemble. In 1992, he established a firm called ETNOFON, which is involved in the studio recording, archiving, release and distribution of folk music and also contemporary and alternative endeavors based on traditional music.

As a composer he represents a striking and unique direction, taking primarily elements of Hungarian folk music and building them into a new system of composition. In addition to the use of current technology, he also gives an important role to acoustic folk instruments, the traditional style of playing and ornamentation techniques. Archaic song texts are embedded in a composed setting, thereby giving them a whole new meaning. The organic relationship with the other areas of the arts (dance, theatre, film) is achieved in all of his work. Through forward thinking with the intent to reinterpret, as well as the pleasure of experimentation, he relives tradition, folk and the contemporary, on the boundaries of alternative and popular music. Since 1994 his new works have been released through Etnofon Musical Partnership (EZT) which is a three member performing and creative group. The core of the group is organized according to the needs of the musical project and is made up of the highest quality musicians in (Hungarian) ethnic music. EZT concerts are nearly as entertaining visually as they are musically. The composition of the stage from lighting to the folk dance based movement theatre, together they serve to express the artist's message.

In 1998 Kiss got together with a few other prominent musicians to form the Odessa Klezmer Band. They do high quality interpretions of Eastern European village Jewish music. Odessa Klezmer Band plays Jewish melodies blending tradition and timeliness into a unique sound. The band often is joined by guest musicians, a cimbalom player, accordion player, or a singer. They made their debut in 1998 at one of Hungary's most prominent Jewish music festivals, the Klezmer and Literature production, on the same bill with Brave Old World. Their performance was extremely well recieved both by the audience and in the profession. Since then, their popularity has only increased. At the moment, the band is comprised of Ferenc Kiss, some of Hungary's most sought after studio musicians and the cantor of Budapest's Dohány Utca synagogue. Their first CD is "Isaac's Dry Tree".

Partial Discography:
Vizöntő
Outlaws of the City
Romaini Kris
Odessa Klezmer Band

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