Pinnacles of klezmer and balkan scenes merge to form single superband
Szikra, a magical collaboration between the Amsterdam Klezmer Band and the Hungarian band
Söndörgő, is set to sweep the European festival stages this summer. When playing live the bands merge
into a grooving, uplifting supergroup with a totally unique sound. The first concerts were electrifying.
Klezmer and Balkan fans are already looking forward to the upcoming tour.A blend of two exceptional
The Amsterdam Klezmer Band has created international furore over the last 20 years with an irresistible
mix of traditional klezmer, balkan, gypsy and modern dance music. No wonder they make a perfect
match with Söndörgő, the Hungarian band that has regenerated traditional Balkan music. Söndörgő has
conquered many a European festival with spectacular interplay on acoustic string instruments.
“Both bands create and play music with an open mind,” says AKB bassist Jasper de Beer. “We’re
inspired by everything that has common ground with klezmer, balkan and gypsy music. Söndörgő has
a similar approach, and neither band is limited by tradition. So we have a unique sound.”
Discovery of the year
The acquaintance with the Hungarian band was purely a coincidence, Jasper says. “On a summer’s day
in 2015 I stumbled upon a performance in the Haarlemmerhout. I had never heard of Söndörgő. I had
no idea what to expect.”
It soon dawned on him that he was witnessing something special. “The musicians play on tamburas,
Serbian string instruments. They mix tambura with clarinet, kaval, sax, trumpet, accordion, davul,
darbuka and occasional singing together. Unbelievable. The band is super tight and they are
consummate instrumentalists. You can see and hear that they’ve been playing together for a long time.