Members Of The Band

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Members of Band

Milan Ikhardt (banjo)

My banjo story began when I came in contact with tramping and visiting many festivals thanks to the popularity of bluegrass & country music in the Czech republic & Slovakia. From the beginning I was impressed by the fascinating sound of the banjo and also encouraged of the fact that nobody played it around me.

The banjo is a magical instrument. I felt the connection with it from the first time so I made build a brand new instrument (even though I've never played any banjo before :). I was lucky, that's why you can hear my Bells banjo on our concerts also today. I'm also the owner of a Průcha Professional banjo (built approx. in 1987).

I would like to mention some of the banjo players who have inspired me a lot: legends like Earl Scruggs, J.D.Crowe, Kenny Ingram, Eddie Adcock, traditional banjo players from the younger generation: Ron Stewart, Greg Cahill, Jim Mills, Terry Baucom and progressive players like Ron Block, Scott Vestal, Jason Burleson, Mike Munford and last but not least banjo players from the youngest generation: Jason Davis, Cory Walker, Zach Gilmer, Jessie Baker, Aaron McDarris and many others.

I’m satisfied when people can forget their everyday problems while listening our music
or if we are just entertaining and give a little bit of joy.

Buchwarth Domonkos (guitar)

A gitár és szájharmonika egész kis korom óta foglalkoztatott. Majd 15 évesen elszántam magam, és gyakorolni kezdtem. Családom hatására a country zene mindig ott mozgott körülöttem, de engem - édesapámmal ellentétben - az akusztikus vonal húzott közel magához.

A gimnázium zivataros éveiben, a két hangszer fej-fej mellett küzdött ellenem és értem egyaránt. Első színpadi fellépésem aztán szájharmonikával történt, aminek hatására a herfli került előtérbe.

2010 környékén úgy döntöttem: mégis gitározni szeretnék, de legalább gitározni is. Az energiámat tehát a gitárra orientáltam. Új helyeken próbáltam ki magamat, amit olyan hangosan tettem, hogy 2014-ben megkeresett a Poa Pratensis zenekar.

Most együtt játsszuk a Bluegrass muzsikát, én immáron gitáron és szájharmonikán, ők pedig a harmonikánál tradícionálisabb hangszereken, és bendzsón.

Band bio

Our band was formed after the 7th International Bluegrass and Acoustic Music Festival, Abaliget, Hungary in 2008. The aim was to play bluegrass and nothing but bluegrass. Religious songs and songs from other genres were out of scope at that time. The good thing about defining what a band will do when it starts is that it can be changed later. Today Poa Pratensis plays songs from the traditional and modern bluegrass eras, with some songs adapted to bluegrass from other genres.

As music is not something that can be done only in a certain way; we have our own style of bluegrass. The attitude of the six individuals is what defines our music today and is sure to evolve over the coming years. It is influenced by the life and culture in Hungary, pop and rock music, amongst others and of course it has its roots in bluegrass music. For us, bluegrass music is not a job that has to be done, but something that we have to find ourselves in.

Poa Pratensis comes from Hungary, a country that has nearly no bluegrass life at all. With only 4 or 5 bluegrass bands moving around within the country; even a 2-3 year old band seems to an established part of the scene. We keep ourselves busy running the annual International Bluegrass and Acoustic Music Festival in Abaliget and the monthly Acoustic Club in Budapest to do our part to make the music more popular.

Bódy Adrienn (banjo, dobro)

It was very romantic how I got to start to play the banjo: my first love left me. I was so sad that there wasn’t any other way to get out of it then to buy a banjo and learn how to play it. So I started to look for one in the shops of Budapest (which wasn’t an easy thing then). After several months of desperately seeking I finally found a shop where the manager promised me to bring me a banjo from Slovakia. So one day I was standing there with my brand new banjo in my hands trying to find out how to play it. Fortunately I met someone who gave me a book and that’s how it started.

After some years I discovered that in Slovakia and the Czech Republic there are bluegrass workshops and festivals so I started to travel. On one festival I saw Jerry Douglas playing and he gave me the inspiration to learn to play the dobro. And when I finally bought a dobro and found out how to play my friend called me to join Poa Pratensis...

So it really feels like a dream come true for me!

Szőke Mátyás (mandolin, banjo, vocals)

Szőke Maja, Máté és Mátyás Well, I should write something here.

I was born in 1978 in the middle of autumn. I've done many things in the past (I have a hobbist's soul), collecting stamps, doing magic tricks, amateur drama playing, however music became my main hobby. For a living I do programming - it could have been vice versa, but to be honest according to my abillities I've choosen correctly.

How I made it to playing the mandolin? Even I don't remember that (actually I do, but it would be long to be written. If you're interested, come to a concert and ask it). I ran through playing chello, guitar, 5 string banjo and finally I arrived to the point when I don't want to look for a new instrument (yes, also this is not true, but I found any new instruments, I should have buy some and my wife would be angry for that. So the official answer is, that I don't look for new instruments).

Therefore I try to have fun on my 8 string mini instument. If I can reach that, it was worth it. If others can enjoy it too, than it was worth it even more, but you have to decide about that.

By the way, in my free time if I'm not playing music, I work with foosball tables:

Dabous Katrin (vocals)

The were already traces of my commitment to music to be found in nursery school, but my fate was sealed irreversibly when at the age of 6 my mother decided: "my girl, go and learn music, because it's good for you", and she signed me in a music school.

After many years of dulcimer, music and singing lessons and singing in a choir I was dropped into the world of light music where I roamed in the direction of different musical styles.

Besides bluegrass I like blues, jazz and rock.

Music is life and love to me.

Tölgyesi Péter (bass, vocals)

In the beginning 2 friends of mine figured we should have started a band, so I had bought a bassguitar and started learning how to play it. The things in the beginning were pointing in the direction of country music, in later bands I played rock and rock&roll. Today it seems that I only have country as partially active anymore.
In the past few years I became snob in acoustic music, but in an orthodox way. I have played acoustic guitar for a few years in the acoustic band called Szuterén, and wanted to play acoustically in future band I created/joined.
When the end of Szuterén was getting clearer we started thinking with Matyi and Katrin on how we should have continued. We wanted to play bluegrass, but for that we needed a bass player or a guitar player and me playing on the instrument the other new member don't. It seems fortune was gracious to the audiance, since we found a guitar player. My bass playing is definatelly the less wrong scenario.
I started being curious about double bass around 2002 on a bluegrass forumon here in Hungary, but didn't do anything about it for a while. In 2006 on a bluegrass workshop I played a song in the jam until my finger bleed, but even this didn't stop me, so I bought my first double bass in 2008 and a the second one in a half year and I plan to live happily ever after.

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