Live reviews

Andreas Varady at Cafe Museum in Passau (Germany)

Andreas Varady, Bandi Varady, Adrian Varady
(Cafe Museum, Passau. 26 February 2022. Live Review by Oliver Weindling)

Not yet a subscriber of our Wednesday Breakfast Headlines?
Join the mailing list for a weekly roundup of Jazz News.


L-R Andreas, Bandi and Adrian Varady. Photo by Oliver Weindling

Guitarist Andreas Varady, still just 26, is, through an exemplary technique and a focused attention to detail, carving out a career in the modern tradition with a bit of manouche thrown in. Of Hungarian Gypsy descent and raised in Slovakia, he arrived at Cafe Museum Passau from Vienna where he now lives – after extended periods in Ireland and New York. It is perhaps no surprise that the two guitar heroes whose compositions he played were George Benson and Wes Montgomery. These were interspersed by standards such as a very lyrical Cherokee, Donna Lee and All Blues and originals from his two albums.

The Cafe itself, in the modern art museum, and on the banks of the Danube close to the confluence of two fast-flowing rivers, is a great place to hear music. Relatively intimate with just 60 as capacity, it runs a very active programme of music, with jazz at least twice a week, promotes a 24-day festival in the summer and has a strong association with Paul Zauner’s Inntöne Festival which takes place just a few miles away.

Varady’s confidence belies his continued youth. He was just 13 when he first played at Ronnie Scott’s – he is believed to be their youngest headliner ever. He has subsequently has been mentored by Quincy Jones (as has Jacob Collier) and it is perhaps partly through that he has been motivated to develop not just his strong technique but also a relaxed style of presentation. This was a true family band with brother Adrian on drums and his father Bandi on bass. This perhaps helped in really making an empathetic performance. Somehow one felt, with his own gypsy music culture roots, that there was a momentum and energy, especially from the rhythm section, which is so mesmerising from Hungarian folk tradition. But that is not necessarily the key. Here we have a confident and competent musician, who has developed far already and it is interesting to see where he progresses. Hopefully we shall find out more in his next album, which is promised soon.

LINKS: Cafe Museum Passau will shortly be announcing the programme for this summer’s Jazz Fest Passau

Andreas Varady website

Leave a Reply