Tamás Ittzés

Tamás Ittzés Tamás Ittzés (b. 1967) lives in Kecskemét, Hungary. Kecskemét is located in the middle of Hungary, about 50 miles from Budapest - the whole country is smaller than Michigan. Ittzés Tamás would be Tamás Ittzés in English, but they put the family name first in Hungarian - Tamás means Thomas. Tamás has been playing the piano since he was eight. He graduated from the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest as violinist. He has also studied there for two years as choir conductor. Tamás teaches classical violin in a musical high-school, he is the first violinist of the Kecskemét Symphony and the Kecskemét Chamber Ensemble.

Besides playing classical violin (for example Brahms B major trio and Mendelssohn Concerto) Tamás founded (in 1985) and has been leading the eight-piece Bohém Ragtime Jazzband that plays all kinds of trad jazz from ragtime to early Swing (mostly Dixieland, New Orleans and 20's-30's big bandish style). The band has received the first prize in the Hungarian Dixieland Competitions in 1994 and 1995. The band's Kecskemét Jazz Foundation organizes Hungary's biggest jazzfestival, the International Bohém Ragtime & Jazz Festival every year since 1992.

As solo pianist Tamás has appeared at US ragtime festivals as well (such as the Rocky Mountain Ragtime Festival in Boulder, Colorado, the Scott Joplin Festival in Sedalia, Missouri, the Montreal Ragtime Festival in Canada) and has given concerts on the West Coast. He is the first Hungarian traditional jazz artist who recorded a solo album in the US. Tamás' first album (entitled What's Your Price?) was recorded in 1994 for PianoMania (Roseville, CA, owned and run by Richard Riley) and his second album, Wild Romantic Blues was published by the same company in March 1998. On these recordings Tamás plays both piano and violin. Dick Zimmerman ragtime pianist, founder of the "Maple Leaf Club" and editor of "The Rag Times" wrote that Tamás' first album "has my vote as one of the most exciting, vital and exhilarating ragtime recordings of the year."


    Note: For full discography of Tamás Ittzés and Bohém Ragtime Jazzband
    go to their website at http://www.bohemragtime.com/
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