All that jazz at the Huether

(Graphic by Lena Yang)

This past Saturday, The Jazz Room in Uptown Waterloo featured The Frank Botos Trio, with Frank Botos on the drums, Jozsef Botos on the guitar and Vaughan Misener on the bass.

Currently based in Toronto, the Botos brothers are originally from Hungary, a fact that has influenced their sound and style.

“I am influenced by the Romany Gypsy sound in Hungary and composers like [Romani-influenced] Franz Listz,”said Frank Botos when asked about where he gets inspiration.

According to Botos, the trio combines influences of European gyspy culture and jazz. “Jozsef was classically trained in Vienna for six years,” he explained. “You can see this in his acoustic finger-picking technique.”

Jozsef Botos came to Canada 14 months ago to join his brother and, having never played together before, they have since been combining classical style with jazz improvisation.

Though they have sheet music Frank Botos said, “It’s just there as a guideline and we improvise and add to it.”

Although Frank says they often don’t have time to practice with each other, all three musicians worked well together and allowed for the showcasing of each other’s strengths throughout the set list.

The songs performed included many originals, as well as covers of musicians such as Miles Davis with, as Botos stated, “their own twists on the songs.” They also went back to their roots and played a traditional Hungarian song, putting a jazz spin on it, which made the concert truly unique.

When asked what he thought of The Jazz Room, Botos responded, “It’s a great place to play where people are actually listening to the music and not just there to get drunk.”

The concert was organized by the Grand River Jazz Society, a group that coordinates the programme at The Jazz Room every Friday and Saturday. With musicians coming from Toronto and beyond, the society seeks to showcase the talent of skilled artists who are not well known but talented nonetheless.

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