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A look inside The Jazz Gallery

Photo by Jorge Ribera

The New York Times describes Ferenc Nemeth as “a nimble Hungarian drummer with a feel for African rhythm, as he has proved through a marquee association with the guitarist Lionel Loueke.” The first call drummer has also shared the stage with Herbie HancockWayne ShorterTerence BlanchardBilly Childs, and Christian McBride, and many others.

As the Times noted, Ferenc can be heard most frequently alongside the guitarist and Blue Note recording artist Lionel Loueke and the bassist Massimo Biolcati. The trio has appeared on each of Loueke’s critically acclaimed albums for Blue Note, and have also released two collaborative albums under the name Gilfema for the ObliqSound label.

Yet Ferenc has also made leading his own band a priority. The drummer released his debut album Night Songs (Dreamers’ Collective) in 2007, which features the guitarist Lionel Loueke, the saxophonists Chris Cheek and Mark Turner, the pianist Aaron Parks, and the bassist John PatitucciJazzTimes praised the effort, writing:

A strain of melancholy longing runs through drummer Ferenc Nemeth’s dreamlike debut as a leader, as delicately layered melodies billow and merge in overlapping waves. Nemeth’s rolling cadences provide direction, while the twin saxophones of Chris Cheek and Mark Turner dance in an intimate pas de deux or roam introspective byways. Aaron Parks is sunny yet mysterious on piano, and guitarist Lionel Loueke’s sparkling, ethereal lines and quiet vocalizing add a sense of fantasy to this elusively structured set.

We presented the CD release concert for Night Songs in 2007, and it is with great pleasure that we welcome Ferenc back to our stage on Thursday to celebrate the release of his new album, Triumph (Dreamers’ Collective). The new album includes contributions from the saxophonist Joshua Redman, the guitarist Lionel Loueke, and the pianist Kenny Werner, while the lineup for Thursday’s performance will feature the saxophonist Chris Cheek and the guitarist Gilad Hekselman. Ferenc speaks:

Triumph…represents my personal experiences, the many things that I’ve been through in my life. Coming from a small village, moving out of my parents’ house at age fourteen, trying to practice…while everyone around me [insisted] that by playing music I [would] not make a living, moving to a big city, learning to adjust to different communities, being bullied, fighting for my rights as an artist on my own and in a different country, getting recognized and being accepted as a foreigner, losing friends and family, going through hardships. All this and of course many beautiful things like meeting new people, new friends, mentors, traveling, see the world opening in front of you, loving and being loved, experiencing the many wonders that life gives us and celebrating life itself.

Take an exclusive first listen to the title track from Triumph below: