Parno Graszt

parnograsztParno Graszt is a Roma folk music ensemble from the village of Paszab. Their name means White Horse in the Romani language, with white a symbol of purity and the horse of freedom.  They sing both in Hungarian and Romani, sometimes alternating between the two in the same song. Their roots can be found in their immediate environment, many melodies were collected by members just around their home village, in the county of Szabolcs-Szatmar. That is where members chose to stay, and they never moved to a city with its fads and stress. They succeeded in preserving the lively, authentic sound of living folk music, and these musicians, too, have remained friendly, direct and in all respects much like village musicians of old. Vibrations, the Swiss world music periodical appreaciated the unique character of the band when listing them as one of the top 10 world music acts in 2005.

Parno Graszt has travelled the world over. They visited India in 2008 in search of more distant roots of their music, looking for familiar faces, customs and melodies, playing with village musicians. This unique journey of exploration was filmed on the behest of the BBC by the Hungarian Television and turned into the documentary Parno Graszt: Days and Feasts. The band has toured in many European countries and even gave 20 shows in 40 days in the United States on one occasion, criss-crossing America from New York City to San Francisco.

Members: József Oláh (vocals, guitar, tambura), Géza Balogh (vocals, guitar, dance), Viktor Oláh (vocals, guitar, dance), Sándor Horváth (vocals, spoons, dance), János Jakocska (vocals, guitar), Mária Váradi (vocals, dance), Mária Balogh (vocals, dance), Krisztián Oláh (accordion), János Oláh (double bass), István Németh (oral bass, churn).

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