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New York based Hungarian jazz vocalist Nikolett Pankovits has forged a singular body of world music with her band, melding the traditional Hungarian songs and standards of her youth with a luscious array of Latin American rhythmic styles into a cohesive and compelling group sound.

With emphasis on communicating the universal themes of her musical roots, she created ‘Sad But True’ which has struck a balance between music and spoken word. The performance culminates with the ensemble in harmony with actor Adam Boncz's recitation of a collection of Hungarian poems in English. They have toured in Europe and performed to sold-out audiences in New York at iconic venues such as the Blue Note, Joe’s Pub and Lincoln Center.

Working closely with longtime collaborator Juancho Herrera, a string wizard and arranger from Colombia, she performed at Carnegie Hall with a barrier-breaking 18-piece ensemble showcasing Hungarian folk music with South American rhythms and jazz arrangements.

Her new record 'River' produced by Herrera infuses the haunting traditional songs of Hungary with the improvisational imperative of jazz and buoyant grooves of Latin America. The album features a female octet, The River Voices that Pankovits assembled inviting some of the East Coast’s finest Hungarian singers.

Josh Deutsch (Trumpet), Juancho Herrera (Guitar), Manu Koch (Piano), Bam Rodriguez (Bass), Franco Pinna (Drums)
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