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János Nagy (Yancha)

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Composer, pianist, keyboard player


Yancha graduated at the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy in Budapest, majoring in jazz piano and jazz composition. 

He has played with the likes of Al Di Meola, Alex Acuna, Bernard Maseli, David Murray, Dave Samuels, Dewey Redman, Dominiqe Di Piazza, Kim Plainfielad, Krzysztof Scieranski, Garry Willis, Mike Stern, Paco Sery, Shankar Lal, Sangoma Everett, Tony Lakatos, Vinx, Winston Clifford and Hungarian jazz greats Mihály Dresch, Gyula Babos, Attila László, Tibor Tátrai, Béla Szakcsi-Lakatos, László Dés, Tamás Mohai, Béla Zsoldos and Béla Lattmann.

He played in a number of high-profile bands in the Hungarian jazz scene, including Fusio (1989-1991), the Fortinbrass Quintet (1990-1993), the Imre Kőszegi Quartet/Quintet (1992-1994), Borbély Műhely (1998-2002) and 9:30 (1996-2009): In addition to the Attila László Fusion Circus, he is also a member of the bands In Line (1996-), European Mantra (2000-), Monamo (2011-), Balkan Union (2016-) and Djabe (2016-).


Yancha has been a jazz music educator since 1994, working at several jazz schools and colleges in Hungary. Most notably he has been a professor at the János Kodolányi College of Arts since 2011. He was commissioned to author official jazz piano books and elaborate the jazz piano curriculum for jazz schools. Since 2010, he has served as the artistic director of the World Music and Improvisation Music Camp in Balatonfüred. 

He founded his own trio (Hard Line Trio, subsequently renamed as János Nagy Trio) in 1994. The band's current members are Frankie Lato - violin, Flóra Joubert - drums and Yancha. The group's 2001 concert with sax legend David Murray was voted "Jazz Event of the Year" by Gramofon Magazine. In 2002, they played with Dewey Redman.

Yancha has been an in-demand arranger and session player in Hungary and has played a number of pop and jazz stars of the local music scene.

Awards and prizes:

2011 - Erkel Ferenc Award

2005 - Artisjus Prize

2003 - eMeRton Award, "Instrumental Soloist of the Year".

2001 - "Jazz Concert of the Year" award with David Murray at the Mediawave festival in Győr.

2000 - Hungarian World Music Orchestra: "Jazz Ensemble of the Year" eMeRton Award

1998 - In Line Ensemble "Jazz Ensemble of the Year" eMeRton Award

1997 - Getxo International Jazz Festival "Best Soloist" Award

1996 - Krakow Jazz Juinors Competition: 1st place, Audience Award.

1995 - Vilnius Improvisation Competition: 2nd prize

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