“Jazz and classical music have always formed a natural union in me. Of course, there is music that can be considered as purely jazz or classical. Improvisation is not necessarily the distinguishing factor of jazz, while it has a profound place in all folk musics and used to have it also in the world of classical music. The most fascinating music to me is realized when the proper balance is found between thoroughly composed music and improvisation. In my case, I feel that the union of a classical form and a jazz-inspired improvisational substance, just happens naturally, without any conscious effort.“

The above statement of László Süle would sound too simple, even mythological, if one does not have any knowledge of his musical and personal history. He was born in Budapest, Hungary, on the Christmas Eve of 1955. He started piano lessons at the age of seven and sang at the children’s choir of The Hungarian State Radio. He studied composition and fell in love with jazz improvisation, which lead him to the jazz department of the Béla Bartók Conservatory in Budapest to further study, and finally to teach piano, composing and the history of music. He moved to Finland in 1989 to start teaching at the Pop & Jazz Conservatory in Helsinki. He has been written lyrics to many musical projects and recordings of his own. He likes to paint and is keen on researching the history of visual arts. In the early 90’s he discovered the more intimate chamber music, especially string quartet music from Haydn through Beethoven to Bartók.

As you can see, there are many sides in his personality. The most important background for LászlóMusic (my term), might still be the abundance of the artist’s experiences, but there’s one historical fact: he never turned his back to his classical and Middle-European background. Fortunately, he did not assimilate himself into an ahistorical and culturally rootless bebop pianist.

“The nearest I have ever been of an artistic crisis was trying to make myself clear with this pressure, that definitely came from the critics’ attitudes and from myself sharing some out-moded cornerstones of the jazz mythology.“

Mr. Süle enjoys most playing for Czech, Polish and Hungarian audiences, where the old, civilized and artistically lively city cultures have still succeeded in surviving against universal consumeristic anticultures. Maybe that has also helped him passing through the pressures and remaining true to his artistic self.

Jazz Preacher Markku Salo