Steve Hackett became legendary as the guitarist for Genesis. He joined the band in the ’Peter Gabriel-era’ of Genesis along with Phil Collins, in 1970. His guitar play and influence as a composer was paramount concerning the most revered albums of Genesis. His personal favorite of this era is ’Selling England By The Pound’. Steve’s first solo album was released in 1975, christened ’Voyage of the Acolyte’ – in quality it is only comparable to Genesis albums of the time. After Peter Gabriel’s departure, Hackett co-produced 3 other albums, ’Wind And Wuthering’ being the most prominent. From 1978 he took on a solo career and made some of his best records since. Hackett is an innovative composer with diversity being a key factor in albums, style and unique expedient alike. He produced not only rock albums but numerous acoustic guitar-based, classic releases saw the light of day since 1983. His electric guitar play is incomparable and one of the most well-known in the rock genre in the whole world. For a short time Hackett made joint recordings with Steve Howe, guitar player of Yes, under the supergroup GDR – this formation also went on tours in both 1986 and 1987. He joined with Attila Égerházi in 1999, who took up managing the Hungarian releasing of the albums of Hackett. In 2002 Steve Hackett’s first acoustic concert in Hungary was also managed and organized by Attila Égerházi, who also recorded the content for CD and DVD ’Hungarian Horizons’. In 2003 their collaboration evolved into joined musical cooperation as Steve played on the album ’Táncolnak a kazlak’ by Djabe. In 2004 Steve Hackett and Djabe stepped on the stage together in London. Later this year Steve Hackett returned to Budapest with his rock band. This was also organized by Attila Égerházi, and he also recorded the concert album ’Once Above A Time’. In 2007 he played at the charity concert dedicated to András Sipos – the gig was released under joint name on double CD and DVD. Every year since 2008 a short tour named ’Djabe special guest Steve Hackett’ is concluded. The project’s program includes Djabe, Steve Hackett and Genesis pieces. They appeared in numerous countries of Asia and Europe. At the Romanian Garana Festival they appeared in front of a 15 000 crowd. The first ’Djabe special guest’ album, ’In The Footsteps Of Attila And Genghis’ was released in 2011. Since then numerous joined albums were released. Furthermore, Steve played on every single Djabe release since then and Djabe members also appeared on some of Steve’s albums. Steve Hackett not only plays the guitar on te records and at gigs but also sings, since 2011. In the future the joined recordings and gigs are sure to be continued.
Gulli Briem was born in Reykjavik, Iceland – even as a young child he started banging on pots and pans on the kitchen floor, but later his guitar play and singing was also a part of his activity in a school band. Later on Gulli took the drum sticks and played with numerous high school bands and in various musicals until 1977, when he met with Johann Asmundsson, co-founder of the band Mezzoforte. Their relationship evolved into friendship and a musical cooperation, and Gulli Briem toured around the world as the member of Mezzoforte, appearing in every single gig and record. His international fame was established with the band Garden Party, and the album ’Surprise, Surprise’ in 1983. Along his career he performed with musicians like Madonna, Philip Catharine, Tony Smith, Michael Ball, John Savannah, the Brit National Symphonic Orchestra and many more. Gulli first met with Djabe in 2008 when he saw the band perform at the Saulkrasti Jazz Festival in Latvia. The performance made a great impression in the drummer. The personal sympathy quickly evolved into friendship – this friendship grew even stronger when Briem moved to Hungary and meetings with Djabe became even more frequent. The first joint performance with Djabe happened in 30th November, 2012 at the IBS stage, where Gulli stood with the band and Steve Hackett and delivered a legendary experience. The musical cooperation is still undiminished and will continue in the future. Gulli Briem contributed on numerous studio and concert albums, not only as a drummer, but a percussionist.
Musician, producer, and president/CEO of Rochester Jazz, NY. He grew up in Newfoundland. As a young boy he watched his grandfather import and sell musical instruments at his family’s hundred-year old business. “He always said, ‘treat people the way you would want them to treat you’. And I carry that wisdom with me always,” says Mr. Nugent. In 1990, John Nugent astounded the Canadian jazz scene with the independent release of his recording debut “Did I Tell You.” That album resulted in critics comparing him favorably to tenor giant Sonny Rollins. Unlike Rollins or any other aspiring jazz saxophonist before him, Nugent plays all four members of the saxophone family (soprano, alto, tenor and baritone). Nugent graduated from St. Francis Xavier University in 1982 with a diploma in Jazz Studies. From there he attended the Banff Scholl of Fine Arts in the summer of 1983, and then embarked on a four year stint at North Texas State University. As a member of the One O’clock Jazz Band, he recorded five albums and toured Australia, Europe and the US. From there he became a member of the famous Woody Herman Orchestra and toured internationally with them for two years. John Nugent has performed with a plethora of well-known musicians and entertainers including Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Buddy DeFranco, Clark Terry, Mel Lewis, Jim Hall, Bob Hope, the Temptations, the Four Tops and Stevie Ray Vaughan. His first musicial cooperation with Djabe was with the album ‘Take on’, and he also performed at the album’s Hungarian premiere tour in 2008. Since then he played on every single Djabe studio album. In 2009 Nugent performed with Djabe and Steve Hackett in Budapest, Hungary and at The Hague Jazz Festival in the Netherlands. In 2013 he also performed at the Down And Up surround gigs in Budapest, Hungary and Oradea, Romania.
Ben started his musicial studies at the age of 7 with the clarinet. At the age of 13 he could play the saxophone, too, and performed in local bands. His father, a well-known musician-comedian continually encouraged him and from a very early age gave Ben the opportunity to perform with him, even in front of larger audience gigs. Because of his commitment for his musical career Ben left the school at the age of 17 and practiced for a whole year – before applying to the Guidhall School of Music and Drama. He finished his studies of post-grad jazz and studio music course. Ben presently freelance musician and managing his own band, too. His great love is jazz but plays various genres with joy. He made guest appearances in big bands, pop and rock even. He played and did recordings with many stars like Steve Hackett, Kula Shaker, the Supergrass, Mica Paris, the Brand New Heavies, Damon Albarn, the 911, the Culture Club, Gloria Gaynor, the Embrace, the Babybird, the Marillion, Omar, the 4 Hero, Lalo Schifrin, George Michael, Colin Anderson and The Duke Special and many more outstanding members of the british jazz scene: Stan Tracey, Alan Barnes, Don Weller, John Etheridge, Steve Lodder, Matt Wates, Clark Tracey, Mark Nightingale, Spike Robinson, Humphrey Lyttelton, Laurence Cottle, Geoff Gascoyne, Arnie Somogyi, Bobby Worth, Michael Garrick, Zappatistas, the Echoes of Ellington and the BBC Big Band. When Ben does not play the music, he writes it. He composed for televisions, big bands, classical musicians and other performers, and of course for his own band. In 1994 he and his father completed the album ‘Ban and Roy Castle’s Big Celebration’, and in 1996 he released a big band album titled ‘Breathe Easy’. In 2000 his new release, ‘Four From The Madding Crowd’ was completed with his quartet. He performed with Ian Mosley, drummer of Marillion on the album ‘Postmankind’. In 2001 Ben Castle was awarded with the ‘Rising Star’ of British Jazz Awards. In 2003 he even performed with Sting at the British Award ceremony night. In 2004 he joined the world-renown band Jamie Cullum. The Hungarian audience almost instantly took a liking to Ben’s music, his unique wind instrument performance added even more color to Djabe’s musical world. Since the 2001 summer tour Ben Castle is a permanent honorary member of the band. He performed on the album ‘Sheafs are Dancing’ in 2002, the ‘Slices of Life’ in 2005 and the ‘Take on’ in 2007. In 2010 Ben Castle performed at the Djabe 15 anniversary concert at Müpa in Budapest, Hungary. He can also be heard in the 2016 album ’20 Dimensions’.
Malik Mansurov, the world-famous tar player and senior lecturer of the Azerbaijan State University, mugham faculty was born on 12th of October, 1961 in Azerbaijan. He took the specialty studies of tar as early as 1970, when attending in the junior musical school. Between 1977 and 1981 he attended at the Musical College. Mansurov graduated and received his diploma in 1981. From 1981 to 1986 he attended at the Azerbaijan State Conservatory with studies of tar player specialty. Right after these studies Malik Mansurov won the International Musical Competition ‘Baku-86’, but in the next two years took up military service. Since 1989 he performed both solo and as part of a ‘mugham’, Azerbaijani folk music compositions trio and toured around the world including Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Morocco, Tunis, Turkey, Germany, Hungary, England, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Finland and the United States. In 1997 his solo mughams were released on CD in Paris by Buda-Records Studio. The preface was written by the famous French music scientist Jean During. In 2008 Mansurov joined with his brother Elsham Mansurov, kamancha player to perform in the Paris Municipal Theatre. Attila Égerházi heard him for the first time in 2006 at one of Mansurov’s concerts in Budapest. When Djabe performed in Baku in 2007 Malik was asked for joining the band on stage. The gig was so successful the musicians continued the cooperation. Malik played on the album ‘Take on’ and joined Djabe with John Nugent at the album’s Hungarian gigs. The next was the performance at Djabe 15 concert in 2010. Since then Malik played on all of Djabe’s albums and was a guest star at the premiere concert of album ‘Forward’ performed with the Miskolc Symphonic Orchestra, at Müpa, Budapest in 2015. In 2016 Djabe once again performed in Baku, with Mansurov.
Tibor Mótyán is addicted to Hindustani classical music for 20 years. He learned from not only the well-known composer László Hortobágyi, but renowned scholars from India who introduced him to the unique rhythmic world of the tabla. He regularly performs with known Indian soloists, and continually gathers knowledge and experience from them. Besides his Hungarian performances his play was heard in India, Serbia, Transylvania and Portugal. Tibor performs with Djabe since 2014. He can be heard on the album ‘Forward’ and in 2016 Mótyán had a part in ’20 Dimensions’, also. He performed at many of Djabe’s gigs, some of them paramount in the band’s history. One of these is the ‘Forward’ premiere concert performed with the Miskolc Symphonic Orchestra in Miskolc, Hungary and in the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall at Müpa in Budapest, Hungary. He also performed at the Djabe 20 Anniversary concert at the MOM Culture Center in Budapest, Hungary where the album ’20 Dimensions’ was premiered.
Musician, actor and event manager, Saïd Tichiti was born in 1970 in Guelmin, in the southern region of Morocco. After graduating grammar school in his home town, he begins studies in Rabat Drama Arts and Culture Management College. He graduated from the Université Bourgogne, Dijon, France. All family members of Saïd were autodidact musicians but he was the first to actually graduate and receive professional artistic qualifications. As a musician he performed with peer poets from Morocco, like Ahmed Lamsayeh and Ahmed El Mesnawi. Since April 1998 he is a resident of Hungary, where he founded the band Chalaban in 1999. In 2001 he played on Djabe’s album ‘Update’ and in 2002 he joined the band on stage for numerous gigs. From these joint performances born the double CD of ‘Unplugged at the New Orleans’. Between 2009 and 2011 Saïd performed continuously as a guest member of the Djabe special guest Steve Hackett project line-up, both in Hungary and internationally.