Nicolle Rochelle Concert in Budapest

Chargé Kostelancik opens the concert. (Embassy photo by Attila Németh)

Remarks by the Chargé d’Affaires David Kostelancik

at a Concert Featuring Nicolle Rochelle and the Hot Jazz Band

Kassa Jazz Boat
December 4, 2017


Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen!  Jó estét kívánok!

This year, Szent Miklós has brought me my gift a day early – the chance to be here with all of you and to participate in a wonderful evening that has brought together jazz musicians and jazz lovers from around the world!

I am pleased that local civic associations and musicians are cultivating and building on America’s music traditions in Hungary!  Many thanks to Marcell Bendik and the Keep Swinging Association members and especially their volunteers for all of their hard work!

Tonight, it’s my great honor, on behalf of the United States, to bring all of you a gift as well for this festive season – the gift of music!  The U.S. Embassy is especially excited to have the opportunity to bring a little bit of America’s soul to Hungary in the form of our guest tonight, Ms. Nicolle Rochelle.

Nicolle Rochelle and the Hot Jazz Band on stage at the concert (Embassy photo by Attila Németh)
Nicolle Rochelle and the Hot Jazz Band (Embassy photo by Attila Németh)

Ms. Rochelle has been acting, singing, and dancing professionally since the age of 7 years old.  She has performed in television shows, in concerts, and in theater productions around the world.  In 2006, she arrived in France to star as Josephine Baker in a musical theater production and after touring internationally with the company for four years, she, like Ms. Baker, decided to spend some time living and working in Europe.

To borrow a quote from Ms. Josephine Baker, “Art is an elastic sort of love.”  Jazz and the genres that soon followed – blues, boogie-woogie, and swing – demonstrate the power of music to stretch and make room for so many different cultures and experiences and to tell so many different stories.

Ms. Rochelle’s own diverse swing- and jazz-fusion collaborations with international artists continue this tradition, showing how music can bridge political, cultural, language and generational differences with audiences around the world.

Through music, we can celebrate both our cultural diversity and our common ground.  Tonight, it is the music of jazz and swing – born in the United States and now shared with the world – that brings us together!

As just like all of you, I am looking forward to seeing Ms. Rochelle, Mr. Tamás Bényei, and the Hot Jazz Bank perform!  With that, I’ll stop king so they can start playing!  I wish all of you a wonderful evening!  Jó szórakozást!