BCO play a blistering barrage of traditional folk and gypsy-flavoured music from across the Balkans and Russia, Klezmer laments, Romanian Doinas, Hungarian Czadas and their own unique re-imaginings of some of the biggest tunes ever written by the classical greats. The Budapest Café Orchestra was established in 2009 by British composer and violinist, Christian Garrick, and led by him have won legions of fans with their magical and infectious performances.
A small, but impeccably formed, orchestra of just four players, the BCO combines violin, guitar, accordion, double bass, saz & balalaika to dazzling effect, creating an awesome aural alchemy normally only characteristic of far bigger ensembles. Two of the country’s celebrated international soloists revel at the heart of proceedings. Accordionist exemplar Eddie Hession is a supreme accordion champion of Great Britain. In his illustrious career he has accompanied Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras and Chris Rea. Christian Garrick is one of the world’s most celebrated jazz violinists. He has played with the likes of Dame Cleo Laine & Sir John Dankworth, Wynton Marsalis, Nigel Kennedy, Bireli Lagrene and Caro Emerald. Another member of the Orchestra is one of Russia’s most enigmatic musical exports. The Sultan is played expertly by Adrian Zolotuhin, a master of the strummed strings of domra, balalaika, guitar and saz. Veteran bass-man Kelly Cantlon has been in the business of laying down the low notes for many moons. Kelly found fame in the as a Vagabond with northern soul sensations Jimmy James and the Vagabonds.
Evoking vivid images of Tzigane fiddle maestros, Budapest café life and gypsy campfires – plus a few surprises along the way – hugely entertaining, immense skill and profound musicianship, a show by the BCO is good enough to make you want to book that holiday down the Danube!
“The music is magic in their hands.” Sean Rafferty BBC Radio 3
“Not so much a band name as a whole genre of its own, Budapest Café Orchestra embraces an encyclopaedia of music and mischief.” Scotsman
“Absolutely acoustically electrifying!” Time Out
“Back by popular demand, the fiery vivacity and awe-inspiring musicianship of the finest purveyors of Eastern European gypsy music this side of a Lada scrap heap will leave you with a grin on your face and rhythm in your feet…” TIMES
“The Budapest Cafe Orchestra play a blistering barrage of Czardas, East European and Russian folk tunes that might have come from the Hot Club of Paris via the Orient Express!” Brighton Argus
“Their virtuistic skill, hilarious sense of humour and undoubted sensitivity kept the packed audience spellbound. Amazing…unlike any other band that i have ever heard.” Ely Standard
“Mascara rearrangers.” Fran Riley
“They make the world a better place.“ Bob Misto, Nevada, U.S.