László Dés, born in 1954 in Budapest, has been a prominent artist of the Hungarian jazz scene since 1974. As a saxophone player, he has won several awards at jazz festivals such as in San Sebastian or Karlovy Vary. He founded his first band, Dimenzió, in 1974. The band played a staggering amount of shows both in Europe and Hungary, and released three records in nine years.
In 1987, Dés started the Trio Stendhal with Ferenc Snétberger and Kornél Horváth. The trio played chamber music with a unique approach, and they soon got very popular all through Europe and the world, as their tours reached as far as India.
Dés has also established himself as an outstanding composer in the pop music scene. With a great sense of style, he incorporated elements of jazz and sophisticated musical forms into his songwriting. Apart from composing for bands like Jazz+Az, he also wrote music for some Hungarian movies (‘A miniszter félrelép’ – The minister’s Affair, ‘Szamba’ – Samba, ‘Sose halunk meg’ – We’ll Never Die) and . . .
. . . he has composed musicals of great success such as ‘Valahol Európában’ – Somewhere in Europe, ‘A dzsungel könyve’ – The Jungle Book, ‘A Pál utcai fiúk’ – The Paul Street Boys.
Meanwhile, Dés remained an instrumentalist, playing jazz and contemporary music in different orchestras and chamber groups. His main instrument is the soprano saxophone with a very distinctive soft and colourful tone, and an emotional improvisative style. He is one of the few jazz artists who are higly appreciated by the audience, critics and fellow musicians.
In 2003, Dés chose TomTom Records to release his solo album ‘Metszetek’ (Segments). The album is a soundtrack to the movie ‘Egy hét Pesten és Budán’ (A Long Weekend In Pest and Buda) by Károly Makk. The band Dés assembled for this occasion features Elemér Balázs on drums, András Dés on percussions, Péter Glaser on double bass, József Balázs on piano, Gábor Juhász on guitars, Kornél Fekete Kovács on trumpet. The tour that followed the album was a great success throughout the country.
In 2005, Dés and his septet released their second album called ‘Utcazene’ (Street Music). The music touches a lot to various genres, ranging from floorshow music to dance music, but also featuring jazz ballads. Soon after the CD a DVD followed, featuring live shows of the band at the Madách Theatre and at the Örömkoncert festival, where the Grammy winner Randy Becker joined the band on trombone.
In 2009, Tom-Tom Records started a fascinating anthology series to celebrate Dés’s best works. Fans can get their hands on updated editions of Jazz+Az’s albums, Dés’ musicals-, film scores, jazz music, and two best-of compilations called ‘Dés1 – ennyi a dal’ and ‘Dés2 – évek óta már’.