Elek Bacsik

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Elek Bacsik
Born(1926-05-22)May 22, 1926
Budapest, Hungary
Died(1993-02-14)February 14, 1993
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
InstrumentsGuitar, violin
Years active1960s–1970s

Elek Bacsik (22 May 1926 – 14 February 1993) was a Hungarian-born American jazz guitarist and violinist.[1] He was the cousin of guitarist Django Reinhardt.[2]

Bacsik was born in Budapest, Hungary, the son of Arpad Bacsik and Erzsebet Pocsi, of Romani ethnicity. He studied classical violin at the Budapest Conservatory before moving on to jazz guitar. In his teens, he recorded with Geza Szabo and Jozsef Quitter, then toured Europe with Mihaly Tabanyi. In 1949 he got his first big break from Renato Carosone, the Italian Neapolitan/Jazz/Rock pioneer. Renato wanted to put together a quartet. After some auditions, he signed Elek Bacsik to play on guitar, bass and violin. The other two musicians were Dutch guitarist Peter Van Wood and the Neapolitan drummer Gegè Di Giacomo. He lived in both Italy & Paris in the 1950s, adding some recordings with French and with American musicians who were passing through, such as Dizzy Gillespie, Lou Bennett, Art Simmons, and Quentin Jackson. In 1966, he moved to America and worked with Teresa Brewer until 1974. He played at the Olympic Games Jazz Festival in Los Angeles in 1984.[2]

Bacsik played guitar on Gillespie's Dizzy on the French Riviera (1962) and later played violin with Gillespie at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1974. His violin playing is featured on I Love You (1974) and Bird and Dizzy: A Musical Tribute (1975).


As leader[edit]

  • The Electric Guitar of the Eclectic Elek Bacsik (Fontana, 1962)
  • Bossa Nova (Fontana, 1962)
  • Guitar Conceptions (Fontana, 1963)
  • Jazz Guitarist (Philips) (reissue of The Electric Guitar of the Eclectic Elek Bacsik)
  • I Love You (Bob Thiele Music, 1975)
  • Bird and Dizzy: A Musical Tribute (Flying Dutchman, 1975)
  • Nuages (Universal, 2002)

As sideman[edit]

With Lou Bennett

With Dizzy Gillespie

With Barbara

  • Chante Barbara (1974)
  • Barbara Chante Barbara (1998)
  • Gottingen 64–65 (1998)

With Serge Gainsbourg


  1. ^ Social Security Death Index "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-08-20. Retrieved 2016-03-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b Wynn, Ron. "Elek Bacsik | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 December 2016.


  • Barnett, Anthony. Almost Like Being in Bop: a Not-So-Brief Account of the Hidden History of the Swing to Recorded Bebop and Progressive Violin in America and Europe. Lewes, East Sussex: AB Fable, 2005. More information on his recordings on violin on AB Fable Bulletin : violin improvisation studies

External links[edit]