Eight musicians and an assortment of instruments, some Marx Brothers-style repartee and 29 years of performing ragtime music. That is Bohém Ragtime Jazz Band that was in Oxford this week, as part of a UK tour.
The Hungarian jazz band was led by Tamás – juggling violin, piano and a bit of commentary here and there. While fellow violinist and vocalist – the memorable marvel of comic and musical timing – Miklós, was in the right place at the right time, every time. Despite ambling around on and off stage without, it seemed, any need for explanation.
The packed two and a half hour toe-tapping performance set off at an energetic pace that never lapsed.
It opened with Lady be Good, then Someday Sweetheart and later Back Home Again in Indiana. A few numbers were by the band’s leader Tamás, and the familiarity of Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer and Maple Leaf Rag drew a warm audience response.
The superb music deserves complementary acoustics but not much could diminish the quality and energy of the band.
The short UK tour has taken Bohém Ragtime Jazz Band to Bristol, Birmingham and Watford as well as Oxford. It concludes tomorrow in London.
© Laura Claire H 2014