Budapest Café Orchestra£20
Christian Garrick & the
Budapest Café Orchestra
CHRISTIAN GARRICK – violin, darbuka
EDDIE HESSION – accordion
KELLY CANTLON – double bass
ADRIAN ZOLOTUHIN – guitar, saz, balalaika, domra
In 2009 Christian Garrick established the refreshingly unconventional and snappily attired Budapest Café Orchestra. The intention to present a broad range of music from all over the world in the most entertaining and fun way. One of BCO’s prime directives is to take the music seriously but not so much themselves. Part of the secret formula of the BCO’s show presentation is performing all the music from memory and, combined their trademark wit and charm, audiences leave tingling with warmth and delight.
BCO are one of the very busiest acoustic groups for me today playing an average of 60 to 70 shows per annum. Since their inception they have recorded one album every year and in January 2023 made their 14th Pavane (& the whole shebang-bang). BCO are frequent guests to BBC Radio 3’s In Tune and on Martin’s Handley’s weekend Breakfast programmes.
Each member of the orchestra is a freelance musician in their own right. Both Eddie and Adrian teach prolifically for budding school-age musicians. Christian is a professor of jazz violin at Guildhall School of Music, Royal Academy of Music, and Royal College of Music in London.
Adrian is curator and director of the Imperial Balalaika Orchestra of Overton (IBOO) who sometimes appear with BCO at special gala concerts. Both Eddie and Christian are busy session recording the sessions and have each played on a multitude of movies. Eddie even had an on-screen role in the Nick Cage film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin!
From a musical family with jazz and classical learnings Christian Garrick is musical director of BCO and his influences run far and wide. He first discovered Hungarian and Romanian folk and gypsy music listening to Sandor Lakatos and Taraf du Haidouks. Christian’s arrangements for BCO of Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky and Greig – the so called ‘squeezebox concertos’ – are rooted in BCO folklore. His arrangements of traditional Gaelic tunes on the album The Gaelic Chronicles was met with critical acclaim with the likes of Cerys Matthews and Mark Radcliffe both championing the disc on their respective radio shows. Christian is influenced by a range of fiddlers from Grappelli to Stuff Smith to Indian virtuosos L Shankar and L Subramaniam. Nigel Kennedy, a sometimes collaborator with Christian on stage, described him as “one of my favourite violinists”. Christian’s own unique hybrid playing style, sheer emotional passion and extraordinary improvisational abilities thrills audiences everywhere.
“Not so much a band name as a whole genre of its own, Budapest Café Orchestra embraces an encyclopaedia of music and mischief.” SCOTSMAN
“Your music is really great.” Helena Bonham Carter
“Their arrangements are brilliant, their improvisations inspired. Their humour and, on occasion, sheer silliness hides a real brilliance of execution. In every bit of the material the charming irony hides really serious and focussed music-making. This is entertainment of a high order. Sir Roger Norrington
“The music is magic in their hands.” Sean Rafferty BBC Radio 3
“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.