The unique extemporizer – Béla Lakatos Szakcsi

Rákfogó band – our first performer on Friday – has an interesting history. They existed more than 40 years ago between 1972 and 1974. Than after several years of pause the renewed in 2016 in a little different set up. Their influence is serious up to this day. All members of the band were present in the past decades of the Hungarian jazz life. Béla Lakatos Szakcsi  (piano), Imre Kőszegi (drums), Kornél Fekete-Kovács (trumpet), and György Orbán (double bass) will perform novelties beside of the rewritten original song on Gere Jazz Festival.

We had a talk with Béle Lakatos Szakcsi, who already knows Villány.

Where the love of music came from?

I started to play the piano in the age of 9. Then I dreamt about to be a famous composer as a classic musician. During the time in the Bartók Béla Conservatory I get acquainted with jazz, with diverted me from the classic music. My interest in improvisation was stronger, but later – when I taught – I started to study the pieces of Bach, Bartók, Sztravinszkij, Schönberg, Webern, etc. again.  I was interested in alloying classic and jazz music. In jazz mainly the work and pieces of Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Joe Zawinul inspired me.

How can you describe the style of Rákfogó band?

Rákfogó band is more than 40 years old. As in the 70’s then now we seek restless, fresh sounds. On our new compositions the “most 21st century” jazz keyboard player – Robert Glasper – had serious influence. The band is not approaching toward the classic sound indeed. We can say we follow the newest black American trends.

What does it mean to you to perform this year’s Gere Jazz Festival which will have Italian thematic now?

I am a returning guest on the festival. So far I played twice there and always loved it. I love the red wines of Villány, and the dishes too. We prepare some new songs for the concert and we will play many interesting pieces for the audience.

Italian thematic seems amazing. I love Italian wines and food and the style of Italian people. Rome is my favourite town but I also love whole Sicily.

Do you have a favourite Gere wine perhaps?

In the Summer I like to drink light whites as spritzer. But if I can choose, then reds, and naturally Kopar!