the taban szinpada gypsy jazz band

fz in budapest, 6/30/91.  from video of bucse festival, frank plays with hungarian band & conducts interview.

     from: istvan fekete (
taban szinpada


'taban' was the location of the concert. it is a part of budapest where the houses were demolished at the beginning of the 20th century. now it is an empty hillside which is sometimes used for open-air concerts. szinpad = stage. 'taban szinpada' would be 'stage of the taban'.  neil slaven in his book gives the location wrongly as 'at the tabanban'. 'tabanban' means 'at the taban'.

the band consisted of fz and 4 hungarian (gypsy) jazz musicians who were invited to support fz. so this was a different setup to prague. there was a soundcheck in the morning, where they played for about 15 minutes. in the evening, fz was introduced by mayor gabor demszky who had invited him to budapest for the summer festival. then frank said the song they're going to play will be called 'one of a kind'. they jammed for about 20 minutes, and they came back for a 10 minute encore. that was it.  frank didn't play too much, most of the time he left the band play (or conducted it) and waited for the right moment to join them. my favorite is the soundcheck, but his other solos are worth a listen too. his guitar sounded really beautiful. this performance hasn't been officially released. yet. (oops, i didn't say anything ;-).) anyway, i have it all on video along with what was shown on tv in a program titled 'zappapest': a cruise on the danube, frank (and gail) visiting an old man demonstrating some traditional hungarian instruments, frank talking about running for president (and admitting he doesn't have a real big chance: 'george bush has more balloons than i'.), etc. (looks like clinton had 99 balloons :-) more than bush.)

istvan fekete - hungary

     from: eddie persson (
     subject: the show in budapest
the show.
me and my ex-girlfriend were in budapest on holiday. one day downtown budapest i saw a poster that said "taban jazzfestival, with special guest frank zappa". i didnīt beleve it! i ran around in recordstores and tried to find out if it was true. it was, everybody i spoke to told me that it was the truth. i couldnīt belive it anyway. anyway, my girlfriend and i went to the park where the show was going to be. a stage was built and we were the first people in the audience. it was abuot 10 oīclock am. a couple of hungaryan freaks came. they had fz t-shirts on so i felt more sure that it really was true. i tried to speak with them but they didnīt understand so much english. at least i understood that this is going to happen, fz is in town! they showed me pictures of fz from the airport the night before.
by noon, things started to happen. movement backstage, people were beginning to get excited, something was going on. suddenly people ran backstage to welcome fz as he was getting out of the limo. he entered the stage, as the king that he was, and the soundcheck started. all my pictures is from the soundcheck. there were four musicans on stage excluding fz. drummer, base, keyboard and another guitarist. they were all hungarian jazzmusicans. gail zappa stood at the side of the stage during the soundcheck and so did the bodyguard from the 88-tour (dave?).

fz left again and there were nothing to do but wait for the concert to begin.  the festival started of with a lot of jazz-groups and fz was the big event that night.  after a very, very, very long time he came!
he and the band from the soundcheck didnīt play any fz-tunes. the band was playing in the background and our common friend played the solo guitar. i cried.
i tried to take some pictures but i had no flash so they didnīt get so well. the fz-gig were about an hour long and then it was over. after the concert i went up to the stage and found one of fzīs smoked cigarettes. i took it as a memory of him and i still have it.

     from: guus veldhuis (
     subject: re: ? about 91' bussev festival jam w/fz
i think it was called the pech festival

     from: istvan fekete (
it was called budapesti bucsu (both u's in the second word should have an accent (bu'csu') -- if you have the video, you can see the name displayed on a board in front of the stage), i.e. budapest kermis, which has been held every summer for the last 10 years or so. there are all kinds of music, theater and other events all through the city - the fz jam was just one of these.
see here:

additional informants:

brian lagerman (