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Cellist Channels Bela Bartok... Led Zeppelin, Too

Cellist Matt Haimovitz has a knack for showing up in odd places. In 2002, he gave the first-ever classical music performance at New York's legendary punk rock club, CBGB. More recently, he visited all 50 states for his "Anthem" tour, performing Bach at venues such as Austin's Cactus Cafe, and The Palms in Davis, Calif.

Now comes Goulash!, a CD comprised of music that interprets the cultures and rhythms of Eastern Europe. Haimovitz drew his inspiration from Bela Bartok, Hungary's most celebrated composer, who he says "systematically incorporated [gypsy and Hungarian folk music] into his compositional process."

"Virtually every piece of his incorporates this folk connection," Haimovitz says.

Haimovitz includes an acoustic cello rendition of the Led Zeppelin tune "Kashmir," which he plays with the ensemble Uccello. Haimovitz says he first heard "Kashmir" while on tour with rock musician Charlie Hunter.

"I realized there was a Turkish mode in this piece," he notes. "And this fits perfectly on my Turkish-Hungarian-Romanian triumvirate for Goulash!"

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