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EFN Newsletter January 2023 #11


Welcome to the new edition of this communication and outreach initiative of the EFN. Feel free to forward it to your friends and colleagues. Receiving this newsletter is open to anyone for free, here. Read to the end to find out how to submit content for future editions.

This is what you'll find below: 🔸A greeting for NEW YEAR 2023 and news of planning for the first European Folk Day 🔸EFN welcomes two new members - Dieter Ott from Germany and the Finnish Folk Music Association 🔸News from our members: review of All Britain Fleadh, from Comhaltas in Britain; Fira Mediterrània Manresa: call for artists 2023 is still open 🔸Our next featured member is Piranha Arts/WOMEX 🔸Our next featured artist is the Hungarian cimbalom player Balogh Kálmán. ✍️ Do you want to participate? At the end of the newsletter you will find how you can contribute to future editions, whether you are an EFN member or not. And of course EFN is always looking for new members and at the end of this newsletter there is a note about how and why to join, with links to the membership pages of the website and the application form. Thanks for your attention, have a fruitful reading.

News from EFN

The EFN Board and Administrator send everyone greetings for a very Happy New Year!

By Nod Knowles

We're looking forward to 2023 for lots of reasons - and most of all we're looking forward to making a reality of the European Folk Day.

PLEASE NOTE: originally we suggested the date would be 23 March this year - but we quickly realised that March is obviously much too soon for everyone to get organised. So we are going to work out a new date for the Folk Day to happen later in the year - and we'll announce the new date in the new few weeks.

There will be a special newsletter with all that information. Ideas and plans have been gathered by EFN members over all three EFN annual conferences for establishing a special Folk Day - and 2023 will definitely be the year to launch this special all-embracing project. Much more info will come soon with plans for the first major celebration of the traditional arts of Europe's citizens. So.....WATCH THIS SPACE!



Two more members have joined us at the beginning of this new year.

We are delighted to welcome:

🔸The Finnish Music Association - Suomen Kansanmusiikkiliitto

The Association describe themselves like this:

Founded in 1968, Finnish Folk Music Association is the largest organisation in Finland for professional folk musicians and folk music enthusiasts, with regional member associations running local activities all over country. Aside from organizing festivals and events and selling folk music records and books in webshop, the association offers educational courses and publishes Kansanmusiikki magazine.

Why did this important national organistion join EFN? Here's their answer:

"Membership will bring us to a bigger European folk network. We can offer knowledge and our network from the Finnish folk music world."

🔸And tango specialist Dieter Ott joins EFN from Germany. He explains:

"I have been involved in music for over 50 years, in classical, jazz and folklore. I have taken over the management of various artists including Astor Piazzolla in 1988. He brought me to the tango. To this day I am the biggest tango agency in Europe."

For more information, check his website.


News from EFN members


By Siubhán Macauley

Siubhán wants to share a highlight of their last year:

"In 2022, Comhaltas in Britain were able to bring all of their members together at the All Britain Fleadh in London with a celebration of Celtic music, dancing and culture. Some participants won medals and cups, with many qualifying to compete at competitions in Ireland. The Fleadh was organised by a volunteer committee who put a huge amount of work into securing a venue and organising a team of volunteers, as well as promoting and raising funds for the event.

Participants told them that the weekend had improved their mood after two difficult years, that they had enjoyed spending time with friends and family, and it had fostered pride in their identity and culture.

The volunteer committee used a number of creative skills in the planning and delivery of this event, including problem-solving a few last-minute issues around programmes and catering, design and copywriting for event programmes and promotional materials, and finding creative approaches to pitches for sponsorship.”

Learn more at their website.


- Reminder -

This is a reminder of the news already present in the previous edition: Presentation deadline: Thursday 19 January 2023 at 12.00 a.m.

Artistic proposals can only be submitted online by completing the form at the end of this artistic participation regulation, once the rules for participation have been accepted.

Send your applications, here.


Featured Member: Piranha Arts / WOMEX

Piranha Arts - based in Berlin, Germany - is the parent company of WOMEX. WOMEX is the world’s biggest professional music conference, tradefair, network and showcase event for World, Roots, Folk and Traditional music – held annually within Europe at the end of each October, and will celebrate its 29th anniversary edition this year (2023).

To the answer "What you and/or your organisation think you can give to the European Folk Network as a member and what you think will be the benefits of membership?" their answer is:

"We welcome our membership of the EFN; we value the chance to foster networks at our event, and to participate within a network as a member.Many of our delegates, presenters and artists are from the folk community (in its widest, inclusive, diverse and dynamic sense), and we look forward to sharing the opportunities for exchange, consensus, discovery, and support!"

For more information, visit their websites: Piranha Arts - WOMEX.


Remember: the Featured Artist section is open to the contributions of the members of the EFN. If you want to talk about someone contact


Featured Artist: Balogh Kálmán

By Araceli Tzigane

The first time I listened to Balogh Kálmán was on the piece Hallja maga kend!, included in the album Gipsy Colours, of 1999 (Fonó Records), signed by Balogh Kálmán és a Romano Kokalo. I heard it on Radio Nacional de España, just once, and I felt compelled to look for the record and buy it. You can listen to it here. If you listen to it, I'm sure you'll understand me.

This kind of records couldn't always be found in the shops in Madrid in those days, which were basically Fnac and Madrid Rock (which closed in 2005) and you had to order them. It could take months to get it, if you were lucky. But I did get this one. Little did I know that a few years later I would have the artist as a contact on Facebook and that I would be talking about him to such a distinguished audience as the one reading this newsletter. That's the magic of a passion for music.

But who is Kálmán?

You have a very complete bio on his page in WOMEX and on his official website. Here I will bring up some key ideas.

He was born in 1959 in Miskolc (Hungary) and he is one of the foremost Hungarian cimbalom players, descending from a famous dynasty of Hungarian Gipsy musicians. According to Discogs, "In 1980, he graduated as cimbalom-pedagogue at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest. He has worked with the best among the Hungarian folk bands: Jánosi, Ökrös, Méta, Téka, Muzsikás, Vízöntő, Zsarátnok and Vasmalom." On his website you can learn more about his current projects.

According to the text from WOMEX, "Balogh continues a fabled European music tradition harking back to the collaboration of masters like gipsy guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli, connecting ancient folk music traditions of Central and Eastern Europe with the chord progressions and swing of jazz."

There are several recent videos with Kálmán and the guitarrist György Mihály on Youtube in the channel of Fonó Budai Zeneház. I have chosen this one: Geampara és Sirba. I hope you'll enjoy:

There is a very nice paragraph on his website, by Michael Beckerman, Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Music at New York University signed in 2007, that I'd like to share here: "Music does not respect borders. It flows across them like honey. And it flows forever, never still. The Slovak cowherd falls is love with a Hungarian speaking maid and moves to her village, bringing his songs with him. A Rom (Gypsy) musician in rural Transylvania plays a Jewish wedding in the 1920’s and carries that style forward, to mix with Saxon German and Romanian tunes, and whatever else is encountered in the meantime. There is no barbed wire, no moat, no guards that can stop a song from getting through. No army ends the march of a song: instead the troops will end up transporting it, willingly or not, whether they know it or not, wherever they campaign. Even if they all perish, the song will survive."

Let's close this section enjoying the art of Mr. Balogh with the Gypsy Cimbalom Band at the Palace of Arts of Budapest:


HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS NEWSLETTER Are you already a member? Then, remember that you can submit contents for this monthly newsletter. Email your content to, for these sections:

· News from EFN Members. Brief announcements – of around 100 words and a link.

· Featured artist. A profile with around 200 words, an embedded video and one link. Members are invited to submit profiles, considering solo and ensemble living or not living artists who have achieved lifelong artistic and technical quality or historical significance in the field of folk art from or developed in or settled in Europe. If you have any artists in mind that you'd like to feature, please ask in advance, just to be sure there is no other member already doing it.

And whether you are a member or not, you can participate in this section:

· Special sections. For instance, an interview with someone from an institution that is not a member or a thematic article by a guest writer or anything that can appear and be considered as interesting. This section can also host guest writers that are not members. If you'd like to share any content, contact us in advance to schedule it by emailing

Of course, self promotional articles lacking interest won't be accepted. In case of doubt, the EFN board will be consulted and will decide.


BECOMING A MEMBER? EFN membership is growing rapidly – why not join the network of traditional arts organisers and artists that stretches across Europe from the Irish Sea to the Baltic, the Mediterranean to the Black Sea? Find out more about membership and download an application form from


DO YOU WANT TO SUPPORT THE EFN MORE? The EFN welcomes donations. We do a lot with little money. Imagine what we can do with a little more :) Let us know how much do you want to donate and we'll issue an invoice for your organization.

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