ZSOLT BENDE is a jazz guitarist and composer born and raised in Romania and a leading figure in the Hungarian jazz scene. He studied in London and at the Berklee College of Music, Boston, where he rubbed shoulders and performed with some of the most in demand musicians in todays international jazz scene. Bende was shaping his unique and colourful music through touring in the USA, U.K. and Brazil before returning to his native central Europe. In England he joined forces with leading British bassist Arnie Somogyi with whom he recorded several albums and later as a founding member of Neil Yates "Five Countries Trio". Bende is the leader of his own quartet and just released his latest recording, "Cycle Of Change".
“Zsolt is a great guitarist. I always have been an admirer of his tone and his sense of melody and composition. The Quartet is tasty. `Cycle Of Change´ is simply beautiful.”
— Lionel Loueke
Calm Before the Storm
Zsolt Bende-Cyle Of Change
The Quartet of Zsolt Bende presents a contemporary version of what is still best described as straight ahead jazz. This album imparts a cogent revision of the idiom - unpretentious musical stories delivered with drive and potency, immediately capturing the imagination of the listener. The original compositions are inspired by hard-earned life experiences of travel and change, but somehow they also manage to communicate an unspoken truth - that none of those things would mean much without persistence. The balanced composure of the bandleader's guitar playing sets the tone for the session. His cool-headed yet powerful ardour suffuses through the quartet, a group re-formed in 2016 after a long period of practice and introspection for Bende.
Llandudno Jazz Festival 2019
England, Llandudno, Wales
Neil Yates, Five Countries
Bende´s subtle and emotive acoustic guitar work has a bright edge that contrasts beautifully with Yates´ softer horn sound. Bende´s light and deft approach is truly melancholy on his own lilting ballad, "Freedom Lost".
Neil Yates trumpet, fluegelhorn
Zsolt Bende acoustic guitar
Cormac Byrne bodhrán, percussion
Arnie Somogyi, Improvokation
Arranger and composer of Arnie Somogyis "Improvokation", which combined the Musical heritage and creative talents of some of the worlds leading improvisational musicians from both Hungary & UK jazz and folk background.
Arnie Somogyi double bass, Béla Szakcsi Lakatos piano,
Borbély Mihály saxophone, Jeremy Price trombone, Miklós Lukács cimbalom, Neil Yates trumpet,
Beáta Salamon violin, Tony Lakatos saxophone,
Winston Clifford drums, Zsolt Bende guitar
Arnie Somogyi, Cold Cherry Soup
Selected as Jazz "Pick of the Month"- BBC Music Magazine, 2001.
Arnie Somogyi bass
Zsolt Bende guitar
Tony Lakatos saxophone
Liam Noble piano
Winston Clifford drums