Back to All Events



Vadalma (“Wild Apple”) creates vibrant, intimate arrangements of Hungarian village folk songs, featuring the rich singing traditions of Transylvania, Moldva, Transdanubia, and other areas of the Carpathian Basin.  

Led by Zina Bozzay, with violinist Matthew Szemela and cellist Misha Khalikulov, these striking melodies, unique rhythms, and colorful lyrics are framed with both traditional and original accompaniment. Vadalma has collaborated with numerous artists from Hungary, including the Enyedi-Salamon Quartet, Berecz István, and Dűvő, and their engaging performances including song translations and cultural insights. Recipients of numerous grants for their work, Vadalma brings a new face to this beautiful heritage around the U.S.

Trained by master Hungarian folk singers in Hungary,  Zina has performed at the Táncháztalálkozó, Hungarian Heritage House, and National Theatre in Budapest. A soloist at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Golden Festival in New York, and the Kárpátok 50th Anniversary Gala in Los Angeles, she is also a regularly invited soloist for Hungarian community events around the Bay Area. Zina is founder and leader of the Hungarian Folk Singing Circle (Népdalkör) in San Francisco, and has coached members of KITKA, Janam, Stellamara, Zhena Folk Chorus, and Eszterlánc Hungarian Folk Ensemble. She is the founder and leader of Vadalma, and brings the village source recordings, background information, and her original arrangements to the ensemble. Zina frequently returns to Budapest and to visit village singers across the Hungarian language area, and she is devoted to making this heritage accessible to people of all backgrounds around the U.S.

Praised by the New York Times for his “outrageous fiddling,” Matthew Szemela has toured the U.S., Europe, and Asia extensively, and appeared with artists as diverse as Sting, Susan Sarandon, Beyoncé Knowles, and Olivia Newton-John. He current performs with the Berkeley Symphony, Opera San Jose, Rupa & the April Fishes, Alta California, and other Bay Area ensembles encompassing a wide range of genres.

Cellist Misha Khalikulov, originally from Uzbekistan and raised in San Francisco, has toured 27 countries with his dynamic, passionate performances.  He also performs with the Blind Willies, Stringquake, and Rupa & the April Fishes, and is a dedicated music educator.

Tickets are $15 in advance/$18 at the door general admission, and $13 advance/$16 door for Students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!